NHSU free pitch deters designers

Consultancies have reacted to a controversial Government free pitch by withdrawing from the process. Two groups have declined to pitch for places on the NHS University roster in protest.

Industry sources suggest the NHSU originally invited ten design groups to participate in the pitch, which will take place this week with the remaining eight groups. Five or six consultancies are expected to join the roster and work with incumbent Bang.

A spokeswoman for the NHSU confirms the pitch is taking place and says, ‘We can’t be seen to be paying for a pitching process. We follow public sector guidelines and don’t pay potential suppliers to produce proposals.’

The organisation’s brief asks consultancies to create an identity and outline campaign that reaches 14- to 19-year-olds and promotes its Junior Scholarship Scheme.

The ten groups were selected from a list of 40. Roster places are ‘short term contracts’, adds the spokeswoman, and an OJEC procurement process will follow.

The Design Business Association declined to comment.

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