I applaud their fast action, but am puzzled about one thing. Why didn't MOF talk about the fact that there wasn't just one guilty party, and to make matters worse, that there are also demands for unlimited meetings on GeBiz?
I'm writing this publicly because earlier, I had already sent MOF a copy of the guilty documents before they made this announcement, informing them that there were at least 5 guilty parties (not just one). Yet, what I saw from their announcement seemed to communicate an entirely different message.
From my own investigations when the incident first gained traction, interestingly, I found that all of these 5 government parties on GeBiz had one thing in common:
|Source: GeBiz. I didn't even need an account to grab these screenshots.|
I don't see any need to publicly shame the individual schools responsible for such a ludicrous act by naming them here, but The Online Citizen has already identified one of them. I found 3, and the last unaccounted for screenshot originally provided by Kelley Cheng clearly shows it is issued by a school as well.
Furthermore, while the attention and public debate has been on unlimited changes, there hasn't been enough attention on the unreasonable demands that many clients make with regards to unlimited meetings.
Here's an example I took from another GeBiz document:
Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how the party whom some thought to be "bitchy" responded, so here's the screenshot in full. Note clause 1 and 5.
Thanks to MOF (yay!), this party has now made the following changes. While the change to clause 1 is fairly satisfactory, take a look at the new clause 5, which conveniently does not mention a cap on the number of meetings either. Hmm, if I were the client who issued this, I would presume I have the right to still ask for as many meetings as I want in the name of "discussion".
What do you think? I'll let you be the judge.
If you're curious, the scope of work that was executed included:
- Conceptualisation of a holistic route-to-market campaign including public relations, marketing, advertising, corporate publicity and social media.
- Strategies for the brand's route-to-market.
- Strategic development of USPs.
- Guidance on conducting market surveys + editing of survey questions
- Analysis of the survey results to gain insights, resulting in a developmental copywriting of key marketable messages.
- Advisory on developing the 3 key messages into a video and infographic, which later materialised.
- Conceptualising + drafting of animation video script and sound bites.
- Editorial guidance for animation video.
- Editorial guidance for instructional video.
- 3 face-to-face meetings, over 50 emails and numerous Whatsapp messages providing advice and feedback.
- Copywriting + design for an infographic which client was originally charged $300 by an outside vendor.
- Design of instructional installation manual.
- Photo manipulation of Facebook cover photo and profile picture.
- Copywriting for product packaging + refill packaging.
- Copywriting for website (which was later not used).
- Copywriting of chlorine test.
- Drafting of a influencer brief to guide and direct all social media influencers' postings.
- Advertorial pitches and liaisons with 15 social media influencers.
- Liaison with 3 media outlets to obtain customized / latest advertising rates.
- Advisory on Facebook
Fun fact: The same client paid $1,200 for an advertorial with a local blogger to write about her product, which was designed by herself and manufactured in China.
Many clients choose to hire freelance creatives because they're more affordable compared to working with an agency, but who protects these freelancers? While this debate is indeed timely, I can tell you that such "slavery" antics (termed by Mothership.sg) has been a problem in Singapore since years ago.
It is about time we implemented measures to protect the interests of designers / the creative / arts industry, which are often "bullied" by many clients who think that our work is easier than it seems.