Vox pop

Clients are becoming increasingly reluctant for design groups to release information to the press about their projects. How can design groups change clients’ minds on this, given the lost potential for publicity all round?

‘Creators have the right to be identified as such by law and my understanding is that no clause in a client contract can supercede this. Are clients in breach of fair trading by preventing designers claiming acknowledgment of their work? We think they possibly are and have included it in the Design Business Association case to put to the Office of Fair Trading.’

Ian Rowland-Hill, Chief executive, DBA

‘If the group is being paid good money I don’t have a problem with a client ticking the no publicity box. They are, after all, the client. It used to be the case (and probably still is) with Mars that consultancies couldn’t promote their work on the basis that Mars didn’t want competitors finding out who was doing what. The pay back was that Mars was very loyal to the consultancies. However, a problem clearly arises if all your clients do this or a client wants loyalty to be a one way street.’

Richard Watson, Founder, Global Innovation Network

‘It makes commercial sense to promote the fact that you use design to help make your products and services more valuable to customers. This says you want to serve them better. As a consequence their experience of your company is enhanced, so your reputation is improved, and both positively impact on the bottom line.’

Raymond Turner, Director, Raymond Turner Associates

‘What kind of press coverage is more valuable to a client? Is it coverage about how creative their consultancy of choice was? How many awards the new design has won? Or would it be better to read about how effective the solution they created together was in promoting their brand, increasing their market share and growing their business overall?’

John Mathers, Managing director, Fitch London

‘Groups shouldn’t have to ask permission, the use of press releases should be negotiated and detailed in a contract prior to accepting a commission. In most situations the tangible benefit to the client is negligible, the PR and free advertising is to a limited, generally inappropriate audience. However, it can massage the ego of the client’s design manager, a factor not to be ignored.’

Colum Lowe, former head of design, Homebase

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