When Did Stealing Creative Become A Good Business Practice?

Over the past 6 months, we’ve received requests for proposals from several different companies. Some were big, potentially multi-million dollar contracts. Others were smaller, project-based opportunities. In many cases, the marketer opened the flood gates and invited dozens of ad agencies and marketing firms to submit a proposal.ad_agency_dont_steal_ideas-228x300

If you actually read the requests, they sound like something that comes out of a conference committee in Washington D.C. Trying to decipher what is actually expected is almost secondary to demonstrating that the people who would be working on the account have sufficient car insurance (you may laugh, but I’m not kidding here!). Worse yet is that you often don’t even have a chance to visit with the people you’ll be working with before submitting your legally-binding proposal. I don’t know about most people, but for me, it’s pretty important that I like the people I’m working with.

But that’s not even the worst of it. The worst is when you are required to provide creative as part of the proposal … creative that becomes the property of the marketer – whether they select you or not.

Ideas are what we are hired for. That’s what we do. If we’re willing to give them away, we don’t really have a sustainable business model now, do we?

Recently, a friend passed along this video. I think it makes the case as well as anything I’ve seen. Enjoy.