I just wanted to echo the sentiments of Lambie-Nairn and others (News, DW 3 September) about the frustrating communication – or lack of it – within the Greater London Authority.
We were very excited by the GLA invitation to tender for, and I quote, ‘The creative development and design of a brand for London’. The outlined programme of brand development includes ‘creating a unified brand for London, setting the vision for London post-2012, leading stakeholders around a shared brand and developing international promotion into a powerful policy mechanism’.
Serious brand and business objectives for London. So why is the GLA mocking the professional nature of our sector, and undermining London’s status as a creative centre of excellence, by omitting to mention – until pressed – that this would be a free creative pitch?
I am sure we are not the only consultancy to advise the GLA that we would not be prepared to submit free work and to be told that this would negatively affect our tender application. I am also sure that we are not the only ones to decide not to waste our efforts. Design has got to be one of the hardest-hit sectors in the current climate and it’s appalling that the GLA is wasting the time of consultancies – London consultancies – which are working hard just to stay in business and could be working on fee-paying jobs.
I chose to move to London 30 years ago, started my business here, have brought business here and passionately championed the importance of British design and creativity, with London at its heart, as an integral part of the UK’s business strategy. Yes, times are hard but this should give us even more reason to enforce a value to our standards. I have already flagged up this issue with Deborah Dawton at the Design Business Association.
If the GLA doesn’t value design and won’t pay for pitches, how can we expect our clients to do the same?
Jonathan Ford, Creative partner, Pearlfisher, by e-mail