We can complain all we want about the evils of free-pitching, but who can blame clients for equating what we do with a beauty parade when we can’t even be bothered to speak up for ourselves?
The recent Design Council report into the Impact of Design on Stock Market Performance is a case in point. Where was the publicity and the national coverage? In any other industry, the identification of a product or process which generated such obvious financial benefits would be front-page news, whereas with us it’s almost a distraction. Doesn’t anybody care? It makes me mad.
We had the perfect opportunity in February to demonstrate to the world the role we play in oiling the wheels of business, but our collective apathy ensured otherwise. At Onbrand we use the report at every new business meeting to build the case for design. However, I can’t help feeling that we’re being undermined by a lack of peer support.
It’s still not too late, but unless we as an industry have the drive and commitment to fight every day to give design the public platform it deserves, and get it on to boardroom agendas, nothing is going to change.
It’s a hard line and a tough corner to fight, but if we don’t get off our backsides and do something about it we’ll be moaning like spoilt kids about free-pitches until the cows come home.
Client services director
Birmingham B37 7YE