- Creative independents are blaming pressure of work for the failure to establish their own association on a firm footing almost three years after the idea was first mooted.
At the same time, some of its founders claim that the expected battle for credibility with clients has not materialised, casting doubt on the need to put the association on a formal basis.
"It's not been as difficult as we thought it would be," Bill Thompson, a member of the association's launch committee, said. "We expected the enemies to come jumping out of the bushes. But it hasn't happened."
The Association of Creative Independents had its inaugural meeting in June 1995. Its intention was to be a forum for creatives working outside agencies while raising their status and credibility with potential clients.
Today, however, many creative independents claim they are very busy and making good livings and are asking whether the association ever needs to be more than an informal grouping.
"Our only real problem is with big clients," Thompson added. "We still need to convince major organisations with stonking budgets to give us not just projects but real responsibility."
But Rob Morris, a founding partner of Grounds Morris Campbell and one of the ACI's driving forces, said he was sure of the need for a formal organisation.
"When I hear potential clients tell us they've never heard of creative independents before I'm convinced we need to establish the ACI properly," he commented. "I believe it will happen. But because we're all doing well it will only be born out of necessity."
Paul Garrett, a founding partner of Fourhead and an ACI activist, said a committee was being set up to work with a president, soon to be appointed.
"Of course we could continue as we are -- but we could be losing out if we can't present a collective face to the world," he claimed.