Why don’t we ask the ad agencies about fees?

Last week’s editorial comment on fees (DW 31 July) brought us back to the age-old issue regarding design’s inability to elevate its fees to a point where we can all “make as much money as the ad agencies”. Has anyone thought to ask the ad agencies how they managed to get their fees up in the first place?

Do designer’s really believe that it just sort of happened?

Lynda Relph-Knight is correct in her observation that before you feel you have the right to ask for more money, you should feel confident about how important your activity is for the client.

Advertising built its higher fee levels by selling itself to the client base, and demonstrating how important it was to the success of the product marketing mix. It then bolted-on value added services such as planning to further enrich the offer.

In many ways, the advertising industry is more coherent and commercially savvy than our own merry band of craftsmen. But I’m afraid that there really is only one place to put the blame for low design fees… and that’s at the feet of the designers themselves.

Instead of spitting blood at the advertising industry, why don’t we all go out for a pint with them and find out how they do it?

On another note, we at Seymour Powell were all mortified (as I’m sure all other readers of DW were) to see the unbelievable similarity between our own vacuum cleaner design and that of Hoover’s Telios.

This is made all the more eerie when you consider that the Telios hadn’t even been launched while the Calor product was under development.

One can only assume that dark forces or telepathy contributed to this extraordinary separated at birth experience.

Richard Seymour


Seymour Powell

London W14

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