Upon viewing an RFP for rebranding services issued by Downsview Services for Seniors (DSS), an RGD Member was concerned that the document requested speculative work by asking short-listed candidates to present branding and marketing strategies, as well as multiple creative concepts, prior to final selection.
The Member reached out via email to DSS Communications and Corporate Affairs Manager Jeff Gruchy directly. Part of that email read as follows: “…upon reading the requirements we, and all RGD certified designers will not be able to participate due to the spec work you request…the Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit us as members from creating new work as part of new business pitches. Asking designers to do work on spec is considered an unethical business practice…”
Gruchy responded immediately, clarifying that the organization’s intent had not been to seek speculative work. He produced a FAQs & Answers document, which addressed the creative concept component. Here is an excerpt:
Are individuals/firms expected to present original creative concepts at this stage of the evaluation process?
- DSS respects industry best practices and standards, thus does not have an expectation that speculative work will be submitted as part of the proposal nor during the presentation stage.
- Previously used creative concepts, designs, technical materials, etc may be used to demonstrate the potential effectiveness of short-listed respondents during presentations.
Gruchy went so far as to personally reach out to anyone who had contacted him about the RFP, clarifying the organization’s intentions and sending them the FAQs & Answers document with further information.
“I thought it was critical that I respond immediately,” explained Gruchy. “It actually was not my intent to cause this discrepancy, but a real lesson was learned in terms of the importance of being uber explicit and clear with verbiage.”
The amended Downsview Services for Seniors RFP is now posted in the Members Only section of the RGD website. The Association applauds organizations such as the DSS who respond to industry concerns so quickly and effectively.