Brand consultancy Identica has been forced to make six staff redundant and is chasing a six-figure unpaid sum, following the collapse of its third-largest client, Icelandic bank Icesave.
Identica had designed Icesave’s brand identity (pictured) and completed digital work and advertising as part of an ongoing contract.
The consultancy was also involved in plans for a television advertising campaign for the savings bank.
In an ironic twist, Franco Bonadio, chief executive of Identica, told Design Week he was on his way to an awards ceremony, for which the group had been nominated for its work on Icesave, when news of the bank’s collapse broke.
He says, ‘We had been nominated for a Marketing Week Effectiveness Award and were on our way to the ceremony [on 7 October], when the client rang and said it wouldn’t be able to come.
‘We were on Icesave’s table, and the comedians were having a bit of fun at our expense.’ Icesave and its parent, Landsbanki, were nationalised by the Icelandic government after going into default.
About 300 000 British savers had deposited money in the bank, and the Treasury has announced that their savings are secure.
However, a Treasury spokesman told Design Week there was no such guarantee for the bank’s contractors, who would have to wait for the results of an administration process.
Bonadio confirms that Identica was forced to make six redundancies in the wake of the Icesave collapse, and that two further staff had been redeployed within Cossette Communication Group, which owns Identica.
He said the consultancy was still chasing money from Icesave, and that this debt was now in the hands of receivers. ‘I’m trying to run a design group. I’m not a debt collector,’ he says.
Bonadio adds that, despite the collapse, he is still ‘very proud’ of the work Identica has done for Icesave, and would continue to display it as part of the group’s online portfolio.
Identica and the Icesave collapse
October 2006 – Identica launches Icesave in the UK, with a glacial colour palette reinforcing the bank’s belief in transparency and fresh thinking
2006-2008 – the bank picks up about 300 000 British savers
2007 – Identica’s campaign wins the consultancy a Financial Services Forum Marketing Award
October 2008 – Identica is a finalist in the Marketing Week Effectiveness Awards
7 October 2008 – Icebank collapses, leaving Identica chasing a six-figure unpaid fee