Here’s our design work and here’s our money too

While it is not unheard of for design consultancies to throw designers, copywriters, consultants and a host of other specialists at a free pitch, we’ve never before come across a client demanding WE pay THEM to tender for a job. So what is this company? Edinburgh University.

We asked it: Under the new EU directive all public sector organisations are legally obliged to encourage public spending with SMEs. When you ask our small company for a donation of £50 how exactly are you trying to fulfil this?

And its response: I’m sorry you feel the £50 fee would put you off requesting the documentation. It is standard policy here at Edinburgh University to charge for these documents, £50 being the minimum, with some other tenders being charged up to £200. We feel a small company hoping to attract the business of a large organisation like Edinburgh University would not be constricted by a £50 fee.

Have we been living with our heads buried in the sand, or is this an absurd business practice?

Laura Gibbons

Project manager

MDA Communications

London SE1

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