There has been quite a backlash over the recent marketing campaign calling for entries to a competition to design the latest Bond film poster (note: not the official poster, these are already in circulation). On the face of it, you can (sort of) understand where they’re coming from. They’re targeting ‘young creators’ and ‘budding artists’ which suggests a well-intentioned opportunity for less experienced designers to win a prize and kudos if they win. Once you read the submission guidelines, it starts to sound much less appealing and more commercially underhand.
All artwork ‘will become the property of MGM upon submission’ and artists may ‘not share your submissions anywhere online’ until the winner is announced. The spec (large format file dimensions) and brief of the poster indicate a sizable chunk of time will be invested by the artists. If these designers are students or (self-) employed, this will have a knock-on effect on their other commitments. The prize for the top 5 winners is just £2000. There is no guarantee of the artist gaining the kudos (‘you may be credited where your work is shown’ – bolding my own).
So for likely several days’ or even weeks’ work, you have a small chance at winning a tame amount of prize money, relinquish all rights to the work now and in the future, and are not guaranteed any kudos. The list of incentives also includes ‘potentially receive career advice and feedback on their submission from a local creative agency’ – again, my bolding). So if the agency don’t have the time or inclination, this isn’t guaranteed either?
While it could be argued that this competition gives an opportunity to artists who may not otherwise get the chance to participate in something of this calibre, I would say their time might be better invested in their coursework (if a student) or their own passion project (where they retain all the IP rights).
The main reason it sticks in my teeth is that MGM and the design agency working on this are taking all the commercial glory, and can use all the submitted artwork in their marketing with nothing but a small prize fund going to the winning artist(s). Far more magnanimous would be to provide a more constructive prize, such as working directly with a local design college on the brief and the winning artist receives a year-long (paid) internship as the prize.