The BBC B-etter B-e C-areful

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All that anti-spec-work yelling from a few weeks ago must have set off everyone in a rage. That’s what what we got from the entertaining read on the BBC’s web contest page, wherein, just a few hours after the thing went live, the admin got on and tried to diffuse the great big firestorm that had resulted from its launch. Basically, the contest is to put together a new look for the BBC’s homepage…and the winner gets a…laptop. But wait, it’s not really as awful as that. The site would only be up for a day, so it’s more a “win a walk-on role on your favorite tv show” kind of contest than a “we’ll pay you a pitance for a lot of hard work.” Though it still isn’t very great, as isn’t this just a way to crib clever ideas for when the BBC does decide to do a redesign? That’s the rub. Here’s a bit from the opening of the admin’s response:

[a quote from user, Jay] “What you are really asking for is numerous submissions of what is in essence a $million rebranding. Not a bad exchange for an apple laptop.”

I think it’s worth pointing out from the very beginning that we are not asking people to provide million $ rebranding for us. Indeed we are NOT going to use or commission any designs for the final front page. Yes, we will turn the winning design into the homepage for a day–but that’s as a prize and as recognition for the winning producer’s efforts (and if they really don’t want us to, then we won’t).

I would completely agree with jay that we would be ripping people off if we were going to turn entries submitted into the final homepage design. But that’s not the objective of this competition.