Quick Hits

Ignite Boise is today, and today is Ignite Boise Day.

Oliver Russell recently launched their redesigned website.

The Boise Centre on the Grove has a new identity as Boise Centre, courtesy of Rizen Creative.

George Parker is still gleefully ranting away on Adscam. (Personal aside, his latest book, The Ubiquitous Persuaders, in next in line on my reading list. More on that at a later date).

PARAGRAPH may have just found THE solution to fix the agency pitch process.

The Slippery Slope of Spec Work

It seems the City of Portland is experiencing the spec-creative backlash as we speak.

Yesterday, the news got out that the City of Portland has proposed a design contest to redesign PortlandOnline.

From Silicon Florist:

Now, you can try as hard as you might, but few things can be as insulting to people as telling them their work is worthless. Which is basically what the City is doing by asking for designers to work on spec.

Web developers, graphic artists and visionaries to transform the navigation and design of PortlandOnline, the city’s primary web presence. Winners will be fully credited on the website for their work – a website that receives over two million visits a month and includes over 140,000 pages.

That’s right. Or to paraphrase, that work that you do? It isn’t worth anything more than a link.

And today came a response from the Portland Advertising Federation’s President, Jerry Ketel —  The City Should Know Better:

This is simply the wrong way to go about designing an important communication tool in our fair city. The idea of this kind of contest is a perfect example of how much the city fathers value the contribution of the design community in Portland. I am certain that there is a very good Web design firm here in town who would work for pennies on the dollar to help the City of Portland to polish its presence on the internet. Not only would they provide design look and feel, but they would provide navigation and strategic expertise. This is Portland after all, craftsmanship is in our DNA. Our community wants to be a seen as a creative magnet in the world—it is a source of pride. So why don’t our elected leaders get that?


Now is the time for the Portland creative services industries to rise up and plant a flag in the sand. We need to be recognized for the contribution we make to our city. We should start by writing letters and emails to the city about this disrespectful contest. And then we need to join together and strategize how we can become a force that cannot be ignored. It is time.

While this is not happening here in Idaho, it is an issue that shouldn’t be ignored.  I’d encourage those of you with contacts in the Portland area to get involved, and make their voices heard.  Contact the PAF or the City of Portland.

Jerry is right:  It is time.

Hey Boise: Portland’s Talking Smack

Or, more specifically, the Portland Advertising Federation’s Rosey Awards:

Rosey Awards Website

This year, the PAF decided to have a little fun with the Rosey Awards website, throwing in a little ‘Our City is Better Than Your City’ attitude.

And Boise was one of their targets.

Now, the question to you, dear readers in Boise and beyond: Are you going to put up with this type of verbal abuse?  Should we engage in a war of words with our colleagues in Portland and beyond?

I say no.  And here’s what I suggest you do:

Make it better.  The strategy, the creative, the plan, the placement.  All of it — make it better.

If it’s good, make it better.  If it’s great, make it better.

The year is half over.  Now’s your chance to step it up.

When it comes down to it, the best way to get back at our friends and Portland is through the work.  That’ll be the best way to bitch-slap those granola-loving bike-riding hippies back into their drizzle-dodging cubicle world.

Oh, and PDX folks, nothing but love for you, nothing but love 😉