Interestingly, TV Reviewers Aren’t Buying “The Pitch”

I’ve said it before: The creative process at advertising agencies simply isn’t very interesting. So the heavily edited AMC show “The Pitch” doesn’t really make for compelling television. I have watched both episodes mostly because I know a bit about the agencies and the participants.

TV critics and commenters seem to really dislike the show. Here’s Hilary Busus’ take in Entertainment Weekly:

The show’s featured players work hard to win us over by claiming to be risk takers who prize creativity above all else: “We understand what it means to put everything on the line for something you believe in,” says one McKinney exec. It’s an admirable sentiment — but it’s tough to take him seriously when you know that what the company “believes in,” in this case, is freakin’ breakfast sandwiches. His words have even less resonance after we see which campaign Subway ultimately selects: A played-out rap about sandwiches that the agency’s copy team didn’t even write themselves.

And here’s a real scathing review from Hank Steuver in The Washington Post:

Though “The Pitch” tries to capi­tal­ize on this notion of the insanely smart copywriter and the mutual triumphs of the creative class, the show also too easily locates the pompous jerk in everyone it meets, even the people we’re ostensibly supposed to like. As a bit of positive PR for the advertising profession, “The Pitch” has a way of making the ad world seem like a real downer — a repugnant exercise in egotism laced with depressing bouts of creative compromise.

The show has, to me, driven home how manipulated reality TV really is. So are you watching? Would there be a better format to make the ad business look more interesting?



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.