Is it Goodbye Abby given internal & international awards?

19 Dec,2013

By Pritha Mitra Dasgupta & Shambhavi Anand


What happens when an industry loses its faith in its own awards? In the case of Indian advertising, agencies seem to have found a solution by launching inhouse awards.


While Lowe and Partners launched ‘The True Show’ a few years ago, Ogilvy & Mather just held its first internal award, the Envies.


With other agencies too planning their own inhouse celebrations, does this mean that the days of the industry awards such as the Abby are numbered? “I don’t think so,” says Arvind Sharma, president of Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) that organises Goafest where the Abby awards are conferred.


“The last 25-30 years that I have seen, big agencies tend to pull out of award shows. In ad award shows big agencies don’t count.


It is the creatively hottest agencies that matter. People have come and gone in Goafest. While that decision should be respected, it has no bearing at all on the future of the show. The show will go on.” But the advertising industry remains divided.


Piyush Pandey

Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director at Ogilvy & Mather India and South Asia, says that his and other agencies are sending out a message to the organisers of industry award shows by holding their own in-house awards. “If the industry comes up with an award show which is believable and credible then we will participate,” he says.


R Balakrishnan, chairman and chief creative officer of Lowe Lintas, says that message has been going out for a while, but the ad fraternity hasn’t got it yet.


R Balakrishnan

“Advertising has a purpose and how creative you are is that purpose. Who better than the agency that has created it to judge it,” he says, predicting that winning an Envie will make creatives at O&M happier than winning an industry award.


Raj Kurup, founder and creative chairman of Creativelandasia, which pulled out of Goafest this year, has been vocal about scam ads in Goafest and how the event has lost its focus. “Whether it is an internal award or an industry award, I would welcome anything that celebrates fantastic real work that has made difference to the business,” he says.


Sajan Raj Kurup

Leo Burnett, which has a global assessment team and a unique scoring pattern that evaluates the agency’s internal work, has planned something special for its Indian winners in 2014.


“We have very big plans for Cannes Lion 2014 and we are planning to send 25 people including creative, account management and planners.


Saurabh Varma

Teams that will score high in internal assessment will be a part of this, so will be the employee of the month and the previous Cannes Lion winners,” Saurabh Varma, CEO at Leo Burnett India, says.


While a senior official in Leo Burnett says that the agency will not participate in Goafest 2014 because it has shifted its focus to Cannes Lion 2014, Mr Varma says, “We are still making up our mind on Goafest.”


In fact, there are many in the industry who believe that while internal award shows of Lowe and O&M make a great statement, the industry award shows will co-exist. Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer at BBDO India, believes the two should not be combined.


“This is O&M seeking external input and I think it’s gonna be respected for that. If more people do things like this, it just shows the industry is more united,” he says.


Rohit Ohri, executive chairman at Dentsu India Group, says the Goafest is a larger forum for discussing industry issues.


“So there is nothing like loosing sheen. But yes the competitive spirit that agencies like Ogilvy bring about will be missed,” he says. Agrees Vandana Das, president at DDB Mudra Group.


“Old forums such as Goafest are places where great minds get together to celebrate great work. But it is not necessary that there will be only one such forum. There can be more,” she says. Like all other issues, the Indian advertising industry will remain divided on this one.


But if there is one agenda where they unite, it is that the industry bodies should introspect the reason for the plight of the agencies from the award shows and try and bring them back.


Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2013, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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