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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Portfolios and client confidentiality

Portfolios and client confidentiality

I’m a web designer and I recently completed my online portfolio. My current employer saw my website and asked me to take down all non-live pitch work done at my current company from my site as it breaches confidentiality.
Some of the pitch works won but there were a few versions of it that I put up. Some didn’t win. Some won but aren’t live but it’s been 8 months to a year now.
What’s safe to put and what’s not?

intro Portfolios and client confidentialityIt’s not safe to put up anything your employer asked you to take down, period. You’re risking big problems by ignoring that directive.

You shouldn’t put up any “unsold” work that was done for clients — they paid for the ideas, think of it that way. You can always ask their permission (through your creative director or account director— don’t approach them directly unless you’re a senior person on their business, which we’re assuming you’re not). They’re not likely to say yes but it can’t hurt.

You’re safest to display only work that has been produced, plus any student work you still think shows what you can do. Spec work done purely for the sake of showing creative muscle is ok—as long as you had no relationship with the client either personally or through your agency.

Also, for broadcast work or web with talent in it, check with a producer to be sure you wouldn’t be on the hook to pay them just as if it was advertising. ACTRA rules are changing but this was an area of contention in the past in Canada.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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