We created this document to clarify many of the misunderstandings concerning ethics within branding practices and to clearly state and define our professional responsibilities.
Point of View
Because design and communications are taught as art, they are often misunderstood to be a vehicle for self-expression (social change, as well as personal opinion and values). At Blackcoffee, we never allow our own agenda to eclipse or compromise our professional responsibility to our clients.
While we recognize that the needs of our clients are more important than our own, we will never intentionally mislead, confuse or make false claims nor knowingly misinform consumers with communications that are manipulative, dishonest or harmful in any way.
We respect that our clients share confidential details about their company’s goals and objectives. We will consider all work (prior to launch) and all knowledge of our client’s business to be confidential. We will not divulge any such information without client consent.
We often work with third party subject matter experts. These experts are professional service providers who understand the importance of nondisclosure and are required to sign non disclosure agreements prior to discussing privileged information.
We respect intellectual property and pride ourselves on creating original works of strategy and identity. While we may use existing best practices or re-appropriated concepts in new ways, we will never intentionally appropriate the works of others. Nor will we will act on instructions from any client that knowingly requests the infringement of copyright or other intellectual property, nor will we knowingly break any laws or ethical codes.
We will, to the best of our abilities, conduct preliminary trademark and patten searches. While these efforts aim to remove the likelihood of infringement, we encourage our clients to conduct their own clearance and registration.
To protect ourselves and our clients, we do not to accept nor consider unsolicited materials, ideas, concepts or intellectual property of any kind. Any such submissions will be considered as being offered without authorship nor the expectation of compensation.
Ownership and Copyright
We believe that we are being hired to perform a service and as such we transfer ownership of any and all intellectual property and its copyright to our clients upon payment.
Conflict of Interest
We will not knowingly pursue or engage with competing organizations if we believe the engagement represents a conflict of interest without first seeking authorization from both client parties.
Serving as brand counsel, we are dedicated to addressing our clients’ most pressing business challenges. We vow to be fair and objective when evaluating the work of third parties on behalf of our clients.
We do not believe in accepting undisclosed payments (kick backs) from vendors/suppliers and encourage our clients to pay third party vendors/suppliers directly. However, out of pocket expenses are marked up at a rate of twenty percent (20%).
We will respond to voicemail & email within one business day. In the event the we are traveling and unable to receive/send email, an auto reply will alert you to when you can expect a reply.