Only ‘two or three’ design groups are likely to survive when Royal Mail cuts its roster ‘within weeks’, following a decision to spend 90 per cent of its brand budget with Omnicom companies.
Wolff Olins is working as the brand’s ‘strategic partner’ (DW 12 June), but 13 groups are currently listed as supplying ‘tactical design’. So far, only Proximity London – as part of the pitch-winning Omnicom consortium – has secured a place in the company’s future plans.
Since announcing his intention to take a more ‘integrated’ approach to the brand in April, Royal Mail marketing director Paul Troy has been keen to cut the number of designers on its books.
‘Being realistic, I could not see us having more than two or three [tactical design groups], if that,’ says Troy. ‘Omnicom are the lead agency [and] where we need what I call capacity, these [other groups] can work within that strategic framework.’
He adds, ‘We’re now looking at a situation where 90 per cent of my marketing spend is going to go through Omnicom group. I think that is a better way to achieve a high-quality and consistent look and feel in one brand.’
While a logo change has been ruled out, Wolff Olins is developing brand communication guidelines for other groups to follow. Direct mail, by Proximity, is expected to roll out by September.
Stamp design will also be brought within the ‘strategic framework’, but Troy acknowledges the need for flexibility in this specialist area. An ad hoc approach to commissioning will ‘probably continue’, he says.
Mary Lewis, John McConnell, Michael Wolff, Glenn Tutssel and Professor Alan Livingston remain on Royal Mail’s stamp advisory committee.