Cape Town - The Cape Argus can reveal the City of Cape Town’s proposed new logo to be presented to the council for approval next week.
Three people who attended the “Top 500” managers event, where the logo was unveiled, have confirmed this is the design that will be submitted on Wednesday.
Priya Reddy, the city’s media manager, confirmed on Thursday that a review of the city’s current corporate identity and accompanying tagline – “This city works for you” – found it to be “completely misaligned to this government’s vision”.
As part of this review process, the city issued an “open and public tender” for a communication agency to help develop a revised corporate identity and pay-off line.
Reddy said this “vigorous process” had led to no appeals, and as a result, the city’s mayoral committee had recommended a proposal to the council for its consideration.
The submission was considered this week, during a closed mayoral committee meeting.
According to the City of Cape Town’s website, a tender for the “provision of professional services: branding agency” was awarded to King James Advertising Cape Town and Yellowwood Future Architects Joint Venture in December. The estimated value of the tender was R8 million.
Carol Avenant now the director of the city’s integrated strategic communication and branding department, worked for Yellowwood Future Architects before she joined the provincial government as Premier Helen Zille’s corporate communications director.
Her appointment to Zille’s office came under scrutiny in 2011 when it emerged that she had chaired a bid committee that had granted TBWA/Hunt Lascaris a year-long extension to its contract with the province. TBWA/Hunt Lascaris owns Yellowwood Future Architects.
In response to questions about the tender awarded in December for a branding agency, the city said no tender was awarded to a value of R8m.
This figure, the city said, had been based on past spend for above-the-line services by the city, and was used for participating agencies to express their commission based on the estimated spend for supply chain management to have comparative costing.
Reddy said reports that the new logo would cost millions of rand were misleading, since the associated cost was R313 720.
City insiders have, however, estimated that it could cost the city an estimated R100m to implement its new corporate identity, which would appear on everything from stationery, depots, uniforms and vehicles, to municipal bills and public signage.
A former senior city official said one could not change perceptions about a brand by merely changing the logo. “A brand gains value or integrity over time.”
Because of the cost and effort involved in making changes, it was best to make minor adjustments to a logo or corporate identity. There also needed to be a detailed briefing process so the agency involved fully understood what the brand was about, and what the logo needed to symbolise.
The current logo was launched in 2003.
Reddy said: “Every effort had been made to minimise the costs associated with this process.” Furthermore, the city had allocated existing budget to maintain and communicate the corporate identity and pay-off line.
The statement by City of Cape Town media manager Priya Reddy:
“The City of Cape Town has been reviewing its corporate identity to ensure it is aligned to the strategy and vision contained in the Integrated Development Plan and supporting documents. This review established that the current corporate identity and accompanying pay-off line is completely misaligned to this government’s vision and has a number of technical limitations.
And the review found that the current brand architecture of the city has seen a vast number of sub-brands created, often at an enormous and unnecessary expense and with little or no impact on citizens.
As part of this review process, the city issued an open and public tender for a communication agency to assist with the development of a revised corporate identity and pay-off line. This was a vigorous process, as indicated by the fact that it led to no appeals. Internal communication and brand architecture forums were established to help inform city staff and guide the process. As a result of these processes, the mayoral committee has now recommended a proposal to council for its consideration.
There have been misleading reports that the creation of this proposed identity has cost millions, when in fact the associated cost is R313 720.
It must be stressed that the city currently allocates existing budget to maintain and communicate the current corporate identity and pay-off line. This budget would be used to phase in a new corporate identity and pay-off line... This implementation would not be at the expense of service delivery. Indeed, every effort has been made to minimise costs in this process. For example, the brand framework was developed internally.
It is regrettable that there has been a rush to report on this matter, based on ill-informed and anonymous comment. We cannot, in terms of the rules of council, provide more information until such time as council has formally considered this matter, but have been forced to respond as a result of misleading reports. Depending on council’s decision, further and full information will be provided.
Citizens can rest assured that any proposal to council has been responsibly and carefully considered.”