Canadian Red Cross amends RFP requesting design concepts after contact from RGD

RGD was recently informed by an RGD Member of an RFP from the Canadian Red Cross with a spec component.


The RFP required bidders prepare six chapters of a manual including "Layout/Design/Composition" and "at least 4 samples of related final print digital products". The RFP stated that these components were necessary to "assess the bidder's ability to meet the requirements of this RFP."


After review, RGD's Ethics Committee went into action providing the Director of Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Business Support with details on RGD's Rules of Professional Conduct and best practices in our industry related to spec work. We requested that the RFP be amended to remove the request for original creative, and focus instead on reviewing samples of past work instead instead.


Canadian Red Cross responded promptly and professionally, acknowledging and addressing RGD concerns. Within two days, the RFP was amended, and the requirement to submit original creative was removed. The amended RFP now asks bidders to submit "at least 4 samples of past work" instead.


RGD applauds Canadian Red Cross for their swift action.


If you come across a request for spec work, please help us spread the word by writing to the offending organization and sending along RGD's Spec Policy document and let RGD’s Executive Director, Hilary Ashworth, know about the situation via email at And get in touch at any time if you'd like to help by joining the Committee, sharing your own no spec letters or articles or offering ideas on how RGD and our industry can combat this exploitative practice.