Anil Thakraney: Lowe Lintas Awards: The Scam Free Zone

07 Jun,2013

By Anil Thakraney


In my interviews with Balki, I give him stress for not willing to take part in the Abby awards. I have even called him stuck-up and arrogant. Of course, these are tricks one uses during interviews… in my heart, I have always admired the man for keeping away from meaningless award shows. And with each passing year, as GoaFest gets hit by fresh scandals, this view has only got strengthened. I am now convinced Balki’s got it absolutely right.


However, the agency does (given the talent pool) continue to produce good work each year, and the creative folks need to be recognized and honoured. Enter the Lowe Lintas True Show. An event where the agency rewards itself on work they consider to be brilliant. This is not held annually, I suppose Balki decides which year is appropriate for the event, when he feels enough outstanding work has been put out by his agency. The burning question is this: What value can an award have if it’s not judged by an independent jury? This ‘minor’ issue is irrelevant to Balki, because he doesn’t respect the jury members Goa Fest usually appoints.


The result: No controversies, no bad blood, and most importantly, no scam ads. Everyone has a good time at the event, as did I on Tuesday. I caught up with long-lost buddies, and because I have worked with Lintas in the past, it was almost like homecoming. I was present at the previous True Show event as well, and that was a smaller gathering. This year was a mega affair, the venue was grander, and it was packed with Lowe’s employees, creative directors from rival agencies, members of the press, and some Lowe clients. With such a large turnout, and after a few Patiala pegs, it was difficult to locate people you want to meet, I missed saying hello to many. Booze bottles as trophies is an idea I most liked. Suddenly, after all these years, I want to win an award, hic!


But the most touching part of the event was Lintas honouring its rivals, for work that Balki and his team envy. And what this does is make the show bigger than just the agency, it turns The True Show into an industry event. The award given away to O&M on their work for The Hindu was richly deserved. I am not sure if the work for Gujarat Tourism deserved to be honoured, but that could be because of Balki’s soft corner for Amitabh Bachchan, the state’s brand ambassador. Scam award chhe, Balki! Haha, just kidding.


Net net: Only one word comes to mind for Balki: Respect. For taking a tough stand, for making a powerful statement, for finding an honest way to reward his employees. And most importantly, for having a blast in the process.


Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney


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One response to “Anil Thakraney: Lowe Lintas Awards: The Scam Free Zone”

  1. S V Siva says:

    Hats off Balki ! Great going .

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