Research by the Design Business Association has established that the practise of clients forcing consultancies to sign restrictive contracts is widespread enough to warrant the involvement of the Office of Fair Trading.
The DBA wrote to the 50 groups it believed to be most affected asking for evidence and informed its 243 members of the research. Of the 50, 17 offered evidence and a further 117 of the general membership volunteered assistance and support.
‘We now have concrete evidence of contracts that contain one or more restrictive clauses,’ says DBA chief executive Ian Rowland-Hill. The research results have been sent to DBA board members this week. Assuming they approve, the next step is to arrange another meeting with the OFT and to start dialogue with specific trade bodies for the worst offenders.