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PRCA Baa Tenders

PRCA chief executive hits out at BAA for charging agencies to tender for communications framework

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By The Drum Team | Editorial

April 27, 2012 | 2 min read

PR membership body the PRCA has hit out following reports that BAA is charging agencies to pitch for its communications framework.

Francis Ingham, chief executive of the PRCA responded in a blog to the story carried by PR Week, reporting that agencies were being charged around £1,000 to be considered for each lot, across media relations, public affairs, consumer PR and crisis communications.

In a blog entitled 'BA Loses the Plot, Ingham said; “Just think about that for a moment. Not only are agencies asked to spend very considerable amounts of their billable time researching the brief; not only are they asked to present original ideas to BAA; they're also then asked to pay for the privilege. Speculating time and originality in pursuit of a contract is one thing - paying up front for doing so is quite another. And in our view it amounts to clear and intolerable exploitation.

“Let me be quite clear about this. It isn't about affordability - there shouldn't be some 'small agencies pitching for free; big ones pay'. It's a fundamental principle - agencies and clients meet as equals. Neither pays the other to check one another out.

“Of course some agencies - good agencies - will suck up the cost, and pay through gritted teeth. Others won't. And who loses out? Well that would be the mean-spirited, greedy BAA. Great move guys....." he concluded.

BAA has explained that the charges will help it to cover its costs.

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