ICA Calls for YMCA RFP Boycott

RFP found to be flawed in key areas.

The ICA is calling for agencies participating in YMCA Canada’s Creative Agency Services RFP to boycott the bid process until the organization agrees to make significant changes to ensure fairness for all who apply.

Key areas of concern:

  1. There is no clear budget declared for the required services and there does not appear to be one defined internally by the YMCA.
  2. The RFP does not declare that speculative work will be returned or disqualified, though there is a clause in the RFP that retains the rights to use any ideas presented at no cost.
  3. The YMCA won’t declare how many agencies are being invited to pitch.

The ICA connected directly with YMCA Canada’s leadership on these issues to resolve them privately, but the YMCA has made a final decision that they would not make any changes to the existing RFP.

To ensure fairness, the RFP process must be stopped until changes are made. The ICA is calling on all agencies participating in the YMCA Creative Agency RFP to immediately boycott the RFP process until the YMCA adopts the following changes:

  1. A well designed and defined budget is declared.
  2. It is made clear that speculative creative, strategy or media plans are not required and will be rejected/disqualified. Also that any clause in the RFP allowing the YMCA to use speculative creative at no cost is removed.
  3. The number of agencies being invited to submit is declared.

“While we greatly respect the work that the YMCA does in our communities, not for profit organizations have to be held to the same RFP standards as private business and brands.” 

said Scott Knox, President and CEO of the ICA. 

“Practices like this are a significant drain on Canada’s creative industries, they also prevent small and medium operators being able to afford to bid on new business opportunities. Quite simply, these practices are stifling entrepreneurship in our country.”

For further information please contact Scott Knox scott@theica.ca.

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