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IPA takes steps to help ad agencies stop being ripped off

LONDON - The IPA is making moves to stop advertising agencies having their pitch ideas ripped-off in what it describes as 'circuses that masquerade as pitches', with the launch of a new set of guidelines and an intellectual property database.

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The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising has launched the New Business Pitch Pack with the aim of creating a step-by-step guide to creating a more efficient pitch process for agencies and clients.

Evolving out of the Finding an Agency guidelines, developed by the IPA along with industry bodies for marketing, PR and direct marketing, the new pack contains a questionnaire for clients, a non-disclosure agreement that imposes a mutual obligation on the parties not to disclose information to any third party; and a post-pitch evaluation form for feedback.

The pack will also give access to the Intellectual Property Rights Database, a new initiative where agencies can register their ideas and materials. These will receive an IPA Certificate of Registration, which can be attached to the work submitted, and reinforce the rights of the agency to own the idea.

Marina Palomba, IPA legal director, said that any steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of ideas and copyright work being misappropriated is worthwhile.

"The IPA has always offered advice and an unautomated registration system for ideas and creative work, but this new easy-to-use online registration process is aimed at encouraging members to think about how to protect their ideas, as well as offering any easy tool to assist with that aim," she said.

More information on the pack can be found on the IPA website.

Hamish Pringle, director-general of the IPA, said: "We hope that this new pitch pack will help protect agencies and give them the strength to refuse to take part in some of those circuses that masquerade as pitches."

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