Has Hornby missed a stop?
So, I read the other week that Hornby, the makers of model train sets, Airfix models, Corgi toys, Scalectrix, Werthers Originals and comfortable slippers, have issued a profit warning to the City.
A neat PR move saw them try to pin their poor performance on our dear friends Wenlock and Mandeville, blaming them for wiping a third off their company value.
So no mention of the recession. No mention of the impressive and continued success of the digital gaming industry. No mention of the general decline in traditional retail and the rise of the internet. And of course, no mention of the dull and uncompetitive core product range.
I don’t mind people having a go. We expected it when we took on the project. I’m sure that Wolf Olins feel the same way about the logo. When you try to do something that will stand out, you take a risk. This risk doesn’t always compute for people, but in a world overloaded with choice, media options and cynics, we as creative businesses need to take this as our primary responsibility for our clients.
We have to make it less socially acceptable to make sweeping and ill-informed, and damning judgement. Equally, we have to be more confident and supportive for the left field, the weird, the wonderful, the square pegs, because although we may not always understand, and we may sometimes feel discomfort we have to reward and stimulate innovation.