When the world zigs, zig


We’re getting some mixed messages from the world-renowned ad agency, BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty). Only last week many were applauding their decision to offer a 3.5 percent pay cut to all their staff rather than make redundancies (a decision that was voted on by all their staff). Last year they were in the top-hundred ‘best companies to work for’. Their website proclaims their ethical stance: ‘business isn’t worth doing if you can’t do it in good conscience’.

Trouble is, someone from within their now vast network that spans the globe across six offices, employing 928 people with a total billings of $1,500,000,000 has decided that the new logo for their BBH Labs offshoot should be designed via the Crowdspring website (which we blogged about a few weeks ago).

Slightly less than $1.5billion is at stake, try, er $500. That’s if if they see a logo they like and then another $1,000 for stationery. Ah, ok then, that makes it better.


To be fair, in their brief they do say ‘in exploring new approaches to creative collaboration, we post this brief well aware of the debate around the Crowdspring business model within the design community. Our interest lies in finding fresh, new creative talent efficiently. It is not in our interest to undercut existing market value design fees. Therefore we appeal to the Crowdspring community in the same way our prospective clients would approach ad agencies in an open pitch. We ask that designers submit only rough comps to this brief’.

We’d imagine that they’re pretty pleased then with the  1086   (Update: 1749) entries so far, mainly riffing around their agency symbol, the black sheep. Give that there are still three days to go to the deadline, perhaps they’ll get 1,500 entries, which would be a simple equation of a dollar per idea. Wouldn’t that be nice and neat?

Maybe their next move will be to ask for some ideas for their new client, eBAY Europe, just won, an account worth a rather hefty £22 million pounds? Perhaps not.

It’s difficult to write an end-line for this. Suffice it to say it’s a ‘white sheep’ approach to commissioning design that we would never have expected from an agency of BBH’s stature.


In case you’re wondering, the black sheep reference comes from this old BBH ad for one of their landmark clients, Levis.

Thanks to Pierre for the tip. Feel free to send us your views on this.