‘Some consultancies have questioned whether it is ethical to ask for free creative work as this is not something that the Design Business Association perceives as ethical,’ says a GLA spokesman.
DBA chief executive Deborah Dawton describes the GLA’s demand for free creative work at the first stage of the tender as a ‘really crazy way of shortening the list of contenders’.
‘Swathes of leading-edge businesses which should be involved will have decided not to take part,’ she says.
Dawton is currently engaged in a series of Parliamentary meetings to review public procurement processes. She is advocating a diplomatic approach to tackling the issue.
‘There is no point in gunning for one organisation, because the practice of free pitching is rife. We should draw alongside Government to find a process that works for both parties instead of standing on our soap box yelling,’ says Dawton.
However, she does warn that if the Government continues to demand free creative work during design tenders ‘it will put design groups out of business’.