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The awry story of ads and awards
Controversies regarding the work of FP7, the Agency of the year at the 2009 Dubai Lynx Awards has taken the regional advertising industry by storm.
March 30, 2009 1:24 by Aarti Nagraj
According to Eliot Beer, editor of Adnation, the controversy may cost FP7 Doha its Agency of the Year title: “The situation they are in now, Lynx is now almost certain to recall FP7’s work for Samsung judging by the fact that they have already been removed from the Lynx website.”
The problem of ghost ads is a global one, says Beer, and happens everywhere. “I think the issue here is the scale. I think it’s the extent and I suppose brazenness. FP7 Doha more or less went all out to basically win as many awards as possible and a very small proportion of that is what is being perceived as real work,” he says.
While agreeing that ghost ads appear in award ceremonies everywhere, Austyn Allison, the managing editor of Communicate magazine explains that the controversy surrounding FP7 is being built up as a big deal in the Middle East. And to a certain extent this will be based on jealousy.
“Advertising is a very competitive industry and has always been notorious for backstabbing,” he says.
“The fact that in this region, advertising creativity is not fully developed means that in order to impress an international jury, the rules will probably be stretched further than in markets with a more developed creative scene. And the higher up that ladder of bent truth one climbs, the further you will fall when jealous rivals at the bottom shake it.”
But creative awards such as the Lynx, the Cannes Lions and the MENA Cristals are more prone to bending the rules than events such as the Effies, which are based on effectiveness, he says. “In the Effies though, the work doesn’t look as beautiful,” Allison adds.
But is this mess going to affect the future of the Lynx?
There’s a lot of buzz going around the market right now about this, says Beer. “If this happens again, if people think its going to be like this next year, then agencies just won’t enter. And the competition would be disastrous not just for Lynx, but for the region itself because it needs a good awards ceremony and the Lynx is really is kind of the best option they have to achieve that,” he says.
However, he adds that the whole issue could turn out to be healthy in the long term. “If they [Lynx] sort this out, then we won’t face these problems again.”
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