One agency president has replied to Matt Smith’s and Dan Rosenthal’s posts about the Metro RFP anonymously because, he told us, he didn't want to be accused of pandering to Metro for their business. He e-mailed us:
First of all, I would love to be on the same RFP list that Matt and Dan are on. Apparently, they get invited to fill out cogent, stimulating, well-thought-out RFPs that are neat and tidy and give them a fair shot at displaying their agencies’ brilliance. The RFPs we get are invariably messy, ridiculous affairs on which you do the best you can with the hopes of making the finals, at which point you can really show what you can do.
Now I can completely understand and can get behind a policy of boycotting ALL RFPs. In fact, for much of the life of our agency, that has been our stance. Matt seems to argue that because Metro is so important to our area that their RFP should be superior. That’s a fair point, but it ain’t real life. We are going after Metro—bad RFP and all—precisely because they are so important to our area. They deserve the best communications representation that tax payer money can buy. If we boycott their RFP, where does that leave us?
RFPs are the least of our industry’s problems when it comes to how clients select agencies. How about the practice of prospects asking for (and, alas, receiving) free strategy and creative for the privilege of having a shot at working with a client? But I digress.
Bottom line: Metro’s RFP is a bad one…like all the other ones we see. They deserve great marketing because they are a great system. Boycotting is not the way to go.