Average Business Pitch Cost in Advertising


To find out the average cost to participate in a new business pitch for a branding/advertising agency.

Early Findings

  • Since pitching for a new business can be very expensive and time-consuming, advertising agencies, these days, have been found to refuse to pitch without a "pitch fee".
  • As per estimates available for 2019, pitch fees can be anywhere from US$5,000 to US$20,000 depending on the work and the client.
  • As was estimated by Peter Levitan, an advertising agency business development coach, small to medium agencies respond to 10 requests for proposal (RFP) and participate in 6 pitches per year.
  • According to Mr. Levitan’s estimates, cost per RFP is $15,000 based on 150 hours of work at a direct labor cost of $100 per hour.
  • An average finalist pitch which includes external and internal meetings, pitch management, strategic planning, writing, creative work, pitch design (as in leave-behinds and supporting digital programs), the pitch itself, travel, and post presentation follow-up costs an agency approximately $35,000.
  • Types of costs involved in advertising pitches are market research costs, labor costs, material costs, legal costs, etc.
  • It has been found that ad agencies often spend US$500 on materials, or a few thousand for large accounts.
  • Another rule of thumb suggests that time costs will typically be double of the cost of materials for the pitch; for example, if materials are US$300, time costs are expected to be at least US$600.
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