The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

If You Can’t Beat Them, Make It Harder For Them …

So this is a sort-of continuation to my post about Peggy – the pointless tech peg.

And lets not forget the ridiculous buckwheat allergy tattoo.

While both of those have come from JWT’s Asia-Pacific offices, the issue is far more widespread than that.

So while this post is coming out today, it was actually written a while ago.

The day after I came back from judging an effectiveness award.

The day after I managed to get a submission chucked out. For being scam.

Everyone – bar the representative of the agency behind it – knew it was scam.

And yet, I was the only one who said it.

The only one.

And the only reason I got it removed is because I pointed out that based on their submission, they had failed to achieve the goals they claim they were asked to do on behalf of their client.

Now I’m not blaming the co-judges.

Nor am I trying to big myself up.

I just hate that this shit continues to happen.

And from the same bloody agencies, in the same bloody region, every bloody year.

[Since the last post, we’ve seen the launch of a whole host of campaigns with ‘questionable’ motivation. McCaan, Cheil, BBDO to name but a few]

The thing is I don’t actually have any problem with an agency wanting to show off their creativity by helping those who need help.

In fact I think that’s ace.

However, when they claim their actions are part of some genuine ‘business relationship’ with clear commercial imperatives, then I have a problem with it.

Look, I don’t want to screw anyone over or get anyone in trouble, but the way I see it is the people doing this – or more specifically, the people forcing their offices to do this – are basically trying to ruin mine, and anyone else who works in advertising’s, livelihood and so while I accept I’ll never be able to make it stop, I can try to make it a bit more difficult.

Or said another way …

I can try and make it a bit more beneficial for any NGO/Charity/Small Business that gets pulled into this annual farce.

The idea is simple.

No agency can enter a creative or effective award on behalf of an NGO, charity or business spending less than US$5000 per annum on marketing unless they can prove 3 years of continuous work … with each year covering a period of no less than 5 months.

That’s it.

I appreciate it won’t change things in the big picture … I know some of the guilty parties will find ways around it … but if we’re going to have to put up with this bullshit, let’s make sure agencies are doing something that gives back, rather than takes more away.

I’m sure there’s other ideas, other suggestions, that would be far more powerful [from creating categories that simply ‘celebrate agency initiatives’ to insisting all ‘effectiveness award winners’ are then audited by an external, independent force] … however as I appreciate that some of these NGO, charities and small business need all the help they can get … I feel this idea would aid their goals while forcing agencies to be a bit more engaged beyond just the 3 months leading up to the Cannes submission deadline.

So if you agree – or have another idea – I’d love to hear from you.

33 Comments so far
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a poll. a fucking poll. really? twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

I know … I know …

Comment by Rob

its a better fucking idea than that handys shit that launched a few days ago. thats not going to stop anything, its more likely to become some fucked up badge of honor. ill give you this campbell, youre a relentless and nasty little fuck when you want to be and i fucking like how youre throwing more fuckers under the bus. now drive over the lying shits so they cant get up and produce more shit like this again.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by George

I hadn’t thought about that … you’re right, it might end up as some badge of honour. How mad is that.

Anyway, we did ‘the Smellies’ for 3 years and I produced Scampaign for 2 and it achieved nothing in slowing it down so I don’t think handy’s will succeed either.

But on the positive, it’s just raising the conversation about it and that can only be a good thing.

Comment by Rob

and why the fuck is the scam so fucking shit. pegs that tell you the fucking weather and plates that absorb the best part of fuck all. are they fucking kidding me? whoever is approving this bollocks needs sending to a psychiatrist. and then be fucking shot.

Comment by andy@cynic

I wish you were still in advertising.

Comment by DH

i fucking dont.

Comment by andy@cynic

Some of those ideas, as Andrew mentioned, are terrible. That they got made at all is bad, that someone thinks they are worthy of an award displays a terrible lack of judgement or the real decline of the advertising industry.
I would like scam abolished but if we accept that will be almost impossible to achieve, your suggestion would add considerable economic cost to each submission which may make it less attractive for the finance director to sign off. And if they still do it, the NGO wins. Smart.

Comment by George

Yep … that’s the basic thinking. Make it expensive to qualify as an entry [because it’s already expensive to submit it] and maybe, just maybe, the bean counters will start to stand in its way. Or the people who need it get more help. In theory …

Comment by Rob

That’s the sort of poll on fox. Asking a question that can only have one response. But the idea works but I still favor lashings and branding.

Comment by DH

I dealt with that in Andy’s insult, I don’t need you pouring more petrol on the fire as well. Ha.

Comment by Rob

The title of this post sums your strategy perfectly. And anything that could stop agencies making useless caps, pegs and plates can only be a good thing.

Comment by Pete


Comment by Lee Hill

you didnt mention this pile of fucking shit.

apart from it being bollocks, if the twats behind it knew anything about surfing, theyd know the smug tanned bastards do it to get away from the shit in the city. fucking morons.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh. My. God.

Comment by Rob

Will you be launching the iSurfboard soon Baz?

Comment by Pete

I thought you guys had better experience launching products only that appealed to your engineers.

Comment by Bazza

handbag fight at dawn.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Rob (other one)

They made it by taking the door off that ‘internet fridge’ that you couldn’t buy, but they banged on about for years.

Comment by Ian Gee

I agree. I also think that all entries should have their media spend, along with previous campaign media spends, as part of the submission process for all creative awards.

Comment by Rob (other one)

I’d like to suggest another rule for awards. The objectives of a campaign must be registered with the award body prior to a campaign going live.

That way people can’t twist the objectives of a campaign to fit the results of the campaign when it comes to writing the submission.

Comment by Version

That’s an interesting approach but I worry they will still be able to manipulate the outcome given so many of these ideas have been created to “solve problems” the agency invented in the first place. Nice idea for other awards though, especially some of Asia’s effectiveness programs.

Comment by Rob

Just have a look at this, planners trying to define planning, no wonder everyone hates planners

Comment by northern

I saw that. I wish I hadn’t.

Comment by Rob

Did someone actually got to minute 1? I just couldn’t survive the first 30 seconds.

Comment by Seb

what the fucking fuck is that fuck?

Comment by andy@cynic

In general I think ideas on how to stop this awkward award business are great. Not sure the 3 year-idea is good. As it basically means you can showcase your brilliant ideas (if you got them) from year 1 and 2.

I think harder rules on scams are better. Like for example: If the judges prove that one of your agency’s entries is fake or scam then all the entered work of the agency is automatically cancelled or disqualified. Not just this one fucking piece. And maybe you can’t enter the award the next year. Just make it really hurt to do shit like that.

And above all: Better judges. A lot of the stuff that wins at Cannes every year has scam written all over it.

Comment by Seb

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