DBA to accept clients as members

The Design Business Association is to accept clients as members for the first time in its 25-year history.

DBA - Celebrating 25 Years of Effectiveness
DBA campaign by B&W Studio

The DBA passed a resolution at its annual general meeting yesterday to make the change.

It is now bringing in a group of seven founding client members: Arup, Buro Happold, Virgin Atlantic, HSBC Private Bank, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline and Nestlé.

DBA communications director Natalie Maher says, ‘For the founding members we wanted design-led businesses and we wanted to avoid any sector conflicts.

‘Outside of the founder members, client membership will be quite open. Although there will be a code of conduct for members and we’re looking at issues such as free-pitching.’

DBA - Celebrating 25 Years of Effectiveness
DBA campaign by B&W Studio

Maher says that opening DBA membership to clients will give businesses ‘a peer-to-peer forum for design issues’, as well as providing support for in-house design teams and design managers.

It will also allow the DBA and its members to have direct communications with businesses interested in design.

The client membership initiative has grown out of the client advisory group for the DBA’s directory, an online database of DBA-registered design groups that launched last year.

• The DBA is marking its 25th anniversary this year, and B&W Studio has created this anniversary campaign, which shows party poppers exploding in super-slow motion, soundtracked by a guitar playing backwards.

Steven Wills, creative partner at B&W Studio, says, ‘The DBA always listen to our ideas – however unusual or unexpected.’

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  • razvan-ionut popescu November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Dear Sire, if you will be só kind to tell me more about become member DVS, becouse I intend to do this if you agree me.I wait your answer as soon as posible.

  • Graham Barker November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    For as long as I can remember, at least dating back to Paul Priestmans’ chairmanship, the DBA has been accepted in-house design members. Some are even listed in its Directory – so sounds like a case of Emperors new cloths.

    Its tough for all trade associations, it seems.

    Perhaps client side has more money to afford those annual fees?

  • Adam Fennelow November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Good point from Anonymous – the DBA have had a handful of in-house design teams as members for a number of years – but these are being fazed out.

    The news announced at the AGM is that it is the whole organisations which are joining the DBA. Rather than in-house design teams, it is the design buying and design management functions that are leading the relationship. We are forging relationships were they matter most to both our existing agency membership and on the new client side.

    And as for the tough trading conditions, yes they are tough, but we were also pleased to report at the AGM that membership (not including the new client side businesses) is at the highest level that it has ever been – and double what it was 10 years ago.

    It is good to see that more and more design agencies are benefiting from belonging to their trade association – which many see as more important in these tough times.

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