Anil Thakraney | Superjury: Keep the CDs out!

19 Apr,2013

By Anil Thakraney


Ah, GoaFest has decided to constitute a ‘Superjury’ to tackle the issue of plagiarism in advertising. This is a good idea, there has to be a group of people tasked with nabbing ad thieves because copied ads bring a bad name to the entire Indian ad world. So that’s a good development.


However, I have a problem with the people chosen to man the ‘Superjury’. These are chairpersons of the various creative juries, in other words, mainly the senior creative directors. This is crazy I say, because this means the same set of people will now police their own work. Incidentally, I have always had problems with agency creative people judging agency creative work, but one let that pass because of the creative directors’ famous line of argument: That only creative people appreciate creative work, that the nuances and the detailing will go over the heads of the ‘uncreative’ suits. I don’t necessarily agree with this, but most creative directors do, and so the same judging caravan has been chugging along, despite all the ugly controversies.


Now, even if we assume they are right, what I don’t understand is why would the same creative directors also sit on a jury whose job is to catch ad chors? This is a policing job, it needs no creative bent of mind. You put two pieces of work in front of you and objectively judge if the twins are a result of an amazing co-incidence or a result of daylight robbery. You don’t need any creative skills for this. What you need instead is objectivity and neutrality. In fact, having creative directors function as policemen will immediately bring agendas into the picture. For example, many creative directors are buddies in the ad world, many have worked with each other in the past. This can and will invite personal bias, it’s inevitable. On the other hand, if I happen to detest my rival, here’s my chance to settle scores.


My recommendation therefore is this: Form the ‘Superjury’ by all means, but it must consist of neutral umpires. Such as, retired ad agency leaders, trade press editors and clients. That would be fair and correct. The Supreme Court bench deciding on Sanjay Dutt’s act of crime can’t consist of Bollywood stars, right?


PS: Oops! One senior Aussie journalist has been sacked because he dared to write against the policies of his own publisher, and specifically because he dissed the ‘advertorials’. Be careful, people! Turn a blind eye to paid news in your group publications, or risk being kicked out.




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2 responses to “Anil Thakraney | Superjury: Keep the CDs out!”

  1. james gaikwad says:

    Sure why don’t we do the same kind of jury for all awards, film awards, pulitzers, sports even literature. After all, it is we the people who see and consume all these things isn’t it. And since we also consume and taste the same Milk that the said Amul client produces, why don’t we rate, approve and rank it instead of all those stupid biochemists and food experts who admittedly are judging, rating and approving their own work! As far as Anil’s argument is concerned, why does the Press Council of India have ex-journos and not lay people – truck drivers, call center workers etc. The reason is this. There is a forum where the jury IS the consumer. It’s called the market place. Don’t like the ad, don’t buy the product, end of story, the REAL jury has decided. This is not that forum. This is a forum formed of the industry, by the industry and for the industry. If you don’t want to be part of it, don’t join, write or report it about it. Move on to the real contest arena and celebrate and write only about products that sell the maximum. Because their campaigns then automatically have a ranking and we can give them awards based on sales. Nobody’s begging for your presence at the Goafest. You are writing about it because YOU ARE INTERESTED. That’s a plain and simple fact.

  2. avinash says:

    in goafest 2013 the client Amul said jury shd be clients and customers…why cant we have adequate representation from them and from non advertising /marketing people…say 2 home makers and 1 doctor or lawyer or someone who is not connected with the prcess of advertising but stil sees the ads and hence a customer? surely they are not idiots and can judge ?

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