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The awry story of ads and awards

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

It’s been almost two weeks since the Dubai Lynx awards were given away in a glittering ceremony, but the controversy surrounding is still gaining momentum. Blogs in the region have been criticizing the work of some of the award winning agencies, accusing them of being ghost ads (they have never actually run in campaigns) and promoting unknown products. Under particular fire is the work of the agency of the year, Fortune Promoseven (FP7) Doha, for its campaigns for Samsung and Higeen.

The Samsung campaigns, one of which shows Jesus taking a photograph of nuns, also ran into more controversy in Lebanon after it was published in a newspaper last week. According to a report on Dubai-based Adnation, Samsung has now issued a statement disowning the work.

“The company did not commission, develop or approve the publishing of the religiously insensitive advertisements. This advertising campaign was produced and submitted by marketing agency, FP7 Doha, without the knowledge or consent of Samsung Electronics,” says the statement.

Sunny Hwang, president of Samsung Electronics Levant, said “We will endeavour to ensure that the necessary action will be taken in this matter. We are disappointed with FP7’s reckless behavior that has jeopardized the integrity of Samsung and of the Lebanese community.”

Phillip Thomas, the CEO of Cannes Lions, organizers of the Dubai Lynx has also said: “We accept all entries to the Dubai Lynx Awards in good faith and trust the agencies competing to be honest and accurate with their submissions and details of client sign off. It appears in this case that FP7 Doha has knowingly tried to mislead ourselves and our jury regarding work they claimed to have created on behalf of Samsung Electronics, which in reality the client had never seen or approved.

“We have openly stated that any submissions to the awards found to be in breach of our entry criteria will be withdrawn and that will be the case here. We will be vigilant in checking all winning entries meet the criteria in all ways, and if they are found wanting then we will act,” he added.

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