Is a PR/ design group partnership the best way to produce creative work?

Having in the past been an active participant in the debate about integrating design and advertising disciplines, I feel compelled to comment on the designer/ PR collaborations (DW 4 August).

I am certain that both industries’ beancounters approve, as well as some of the “suits”, but what about the designers? Based on the number of disgruntled seniors I have interviewed from newly formed “PR with design capabilities” agencies, I would say its not a popular move.

In the words of the designers, the collaboration has altered the integrity of the work and their passion is being sapped. So why are many of the more talented creatives getting out of the PR- based consultancies?

Is it because too many PR agencies which “sell” design all too often manage to turn identities into logos, brochures into mailers, and appear to be using the same newsletter template?

Design solutions are no longer expressions of a brand, they have become vehicles for this week’s big idea. It’s about attitude and, as Darren Richardson (Letters, DW 25 August) says, it is about understanding. The sooner we can accept that the minds of a designer, a PR-man and an advertising creative are all different, the sooner we can offer our clients truly successful, integrated solutions rather than work by a bunch of half-hearted jack-of-all-trades.

As to which discipline should take the lead, surely it will be the one that the particular account has a greater bias towards or the one that first wins the business and sets the standards. Isn’t it that simple?

Roger Felton

Managing partner

Felton Communication

London EC1N

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