A clear and organised handover of assets from the old to the new agency is essential to the successful conclusion of the pitch process. Indeed, it should be written into the contract with the agency. This should specify that the handover gets done within the notice period and before the final financial settlement is made. Review your contract with the agency and honour the notice period and any outstanding payment due.
Have you considered TUPE?
TUPE is an important issue to be aware of Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations 2006, sets out details regarding the termination of contracts. Under the regulations, any employees who have been 'dedicated' to the client account have the right of transfer their employment (on the same terms and conditions) from the incumbent agency to the new agency or to the client if the work is being taken in-house.
We recommend that you read contracts and Service Level Agreements in detail to ensure that they are fully aware of the status and ownership of source files, broadcast files, talent contracts etc...
In the case of a media handover
There is an additional process which must be handled. Media booking - especially for TV air time - is committed 6-8 weeks in advance. At certain times of the year such as Christmas, bookings can be required up to 3 months in advance. Planning work is carried out ahead of the activity happening. In this case, we recommend one of the following suggestions be included in your contract
- There is a 3 month notice period between the decision to move the media business from the losing agency and the winning agency taking on the media buying.
- There is a fee agreed with the losing agency to cover the cost of planning the activity over the 3 month notice period and to compensate them for the loss of buying. If it is agreed and paid, then the business can move immediately.