Excerpted from Their Article
The American Association of Advertising Agencies has two words of advice for agencies asked to give away rights to ideas they present in new-business pitches: Say no. The American Association of Advertising Agencies has come down strongly on the side of an agency's right to own the ideas it presents when pitching for a client account. It is the first time the trade association has taken a position on the matter, but the leading ad-agency association is taking action (via a white paper) because "in the last few years, there's been a tendency for marketers to ask for ownership of ideas," said Tom Finneran, exec VP-management services. "It is an onerous matter for agencies." (Download the white paper). Several years ago Hilton Hotels set off a firestorm of protest among agencies when it asked contenders in a creative review to sign over their rights to ideas they pitched -- with no compensation in return. "Agencies need to know that just because they're given a document asking for rights doesn't mean they must sign it," she said. The paper cites alternatives to ceding ownership such as asking a prospective client to agree in writing that ideas presented in a pitch are owned by the agency. TBWA/Chiat/Day has a clear policy about idea ownership. "We never accept a stipend because we always retain ownership. In a pitch situation, we work with a prospect the same way we would with an existing client," said Laurie Coots, chief marketing officer worldwide. "We keep accurate records of resources, activities and document the value of all we've done." She goes on to say "When you act like something [of yours] is valuable, others treat it like it has value too."
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Does this ring a bell? Furthermore, this is a valuable white paper to share with any AD who insists on copyright/ownership. Just point them in the direction of the Ad Age/AAAA information (politely and with tact of course!) and your argument will be that much better towards retaining ownership of your work.
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