Good on Lambie-Nairn for taking a stand on the Greater London Authority logo tender (News, DW 3 September). This is despicable behaviour on the part of the GLA and really shows a lack of respect for and an understanding of the creative community, in spite of its importance as an industry to the UK and London.
Fact one: two million people are employed in the creative sector which contributes £60bn a year – 7.3 per cent – to the UK economy. Over the past decade, this sector has grown at twice the rate of the economy as a whole (according to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport).
Fact two: in London, the creative sector is even more important, second only to the financial services industry in terms of growth, accounting for up to a quarter of job growth in London over the past six years (according to a Mayor of London report).
But the issue here is not just about free-pitching, and we must look beyond our community. It’s about the wisdom of the brief and rationale behind the project itself. What’s wrong with the current LondON logo? To me this project stinks of Boris Johnson bidding for a vainglorious attempt to ‘make his mark’ and a total waste of public funds.
If the GLA is doing this to get a quick and cheap solution, without giving the consultancies access to Londoners’ and tourists’ opinions, and without going through a rigorous process that challenges the brief, then the solution will fail to engage with the key ‘customers’ and create a huge public backlash. I can just see the headlines now – ‘London wastes taxpayers money with six-figure logo during worst recession of our generation’.
My plea to all consultancies considering responding to this brief: if you think winning this could be a reputation-building exercise, think again. You will be opening yourself up to ridicule from the public and the design industry alike.
Stick together with Lambie-Nairn and boycott this thing.
Stef Brown, Managing director, On Pointe Marketing, by e-mail