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UMA – Survey Costs of Media Pitches 2023


9 Media Agencies member of UMA participated in the UMA Survey concerning the costs of media pitches in 2023 ; the specialized agencies Billups and iO did not fill in the questionnaire.

“This Survey is very useful for the whole media industry,” Hugues Rey, CEO of Havas and UMA president, commented. “It shows that there is a potential optimisation of resources. And that benefits both agencies and advertisers.”

90 pitches in a year, accounting for 232 participations from media agencies

UMA registrated 90 media pitches in 2023, accounting for a total of 232 participation by 9 agencies. So that means an average of 2.6 agencies participated in a pitch.

“The bulk of pitches are local,” adds François Chaudoir. The Space CEO and UMA vice president specifies, “It’s 61% versus 39% international competitions. This number obviously does not take into account the so-called “self-initiated leads”, the agencies that proactively go to an advertiser, which also happens mainly at the local level.”

The cost per pitch

The total cost of the participations in pitches for the year 2023 is 5.187.069€. The average cost per hour spent is 118,6€

Focus on the 7 largest pitches in 2023

The above figures naturally reflect averages of all the 90 pitches in 2023. But of course, one pitch is not like another. Focusing on the 7 largest media competitions in 2023 in terms of hours spent, the following conclusions can be observed:

  • Average number of participating agencies per pitch: 4
  • Total number of hours spent in 2023 by all participating agencies in those 7 pitches: 15.320h; this means +/- 2.200 hours per pitch for each participating agency. On average 4 media agencies participate to these top 7 pitches: we conclude that per agency 550 hours were spent last year on those 7 big pitches. 
  • Total cost for all agencies in these 7 pitches: 1.817K€. This means that 8% of the total number of pitches represent 35% of the total cost of pitches for the media agencies industry
  • Investment per agency on average per major pitch: 67K€ (567 hours, or 0.33 FTE)

Among these 7 pitches:

  • Average investment per agency for the most time-consuming pitch: 99K€ (832 hours, or 0.49 FTE)
  • Average investment per agency for the least time-consuming pitch: 38K€ (321 hours, or 0.19 FTE)

Limitation to 3 agencies

This figures also teach UMA about what is important when organising a pitch. “We would advise all advertisers to limit themselves to 3 participating agencies,” says François Chaudoir. “That simplifies the process and guarantees quality interactions. Then, a structured process with realistic expectations and based on detailed briefings, realistic budgets and clear objectives is essential.”

“Chemistry meetings should be the starting point,” adds Hugues Rey. “That teaches a lot about empathy and enthusiasm and emphasises the human aspect that still makes the difference in our sector.”