UK groups lead the field in free-pitching

Free-pitching is largely “a British disease”, more likely to happen when UK groups are involved in an international pitch. This was the view of delegates at a conference last week held by the newly named Pan-European Design Association.

Only the French indicated an upturn in the demand for free pitches from clients where British consultancies were not involved.

The aim of the conference, held in Strasbourg, France, was for European packaging and branding designers to work towards establishing a common code of practice. Members of the PDA, formerly the Packaging & Design Association, debated contracts, copyright and free-pitching.

While no code was resolved, the PDA committee undertook to progress the ideas, liaising with professional bodies such as the UK Design Business Association and its counterparts in France and The Netherlands.

At the meeting, Gérard Caron of Carré Noir Paris took over as PDA president from Rob van den Berg of Dutch group Milford van den Berg. John Parsons of Siebert Head became UK representative.

Caron predicted the European industry “will meet tough days in the future” but urged designers to “stay together, act together and prepare our future together”.

The next PDA meeting will be held in London next spring. Dates and venue have yet to be finalised.

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