How to stop fake ads forever.
Ok, this is getting ridiculous. Ad award show after ad award show is finding out that large numbers of winning entries never even ran at all. Not that that’s a huge secret. Jackass, cheater creatives have been more concerned with winning some hunk of metal than in actually doing real work for real clients for years. This ad from DDB Brazil is the latest example.
We’ll forget the fact that the concept is fatally flawed. And that it’s poorly written. And that pulling some cheap stunt like this to capitalize on a real tragedy is way below board. Even if it was real, it’s a piece of shit that should mean an instant firing to whomever created it. I hope the WWF sues the crap out of them. But this post isn’t about hack creatives doing lame ads. It’s about agencies cheating and lying their way into award shows and winning awards while good, real work gets left out.
Plenty of people are calling for the end of advertising award shows, but all that really does is penalize good creatives along with the bad. So here’s my suggestion on what to do. And I guarantee you it’ll work.
If you enter a totally fake ad like this one in an award show: Your agency is banned from entering any award show for 10 years.
If you enter an ad that technically ran, but the submission is a “director’s cut” or in someway altered from what actually ran: Your agency is banned from entering any award shows for 5 years.
Get caught entering an ad that ran once, on late night TV, or only ran because your agency produced a single ad and paid to run it themselves: Your agency is banned from entering any award shows for 2 years.
Individuals who are credited in the fake entries get banned for double the agency time – 20 years, 10 years and 4 years. So even if they change jobs, any future submissions that credits them in any capacity would be rejected.
Award shows who accept submissions from banned agencies: International scorn from various ad associations, promises from other major agencies not to enter those award shows any more, and worldwide press coverage ripping the show.
Agencies who enter fake awards want to build their credentials, show off to prospective clients and to recruit better talent. So let’s hit them where it hurts. Cut off their access to awards if they can’t win them fairly.
Award shows want people to enter so they can make money. But if major ad agencies pulled out of their shows because they accepted entries from banned agencies, they’d go out of business. It’d be way too risky for award shows to let the bad guys sneak back in.
Suddenly, clean shows would get a huge influx of entries as the honor of winning for real work went up. Good agencies would know their entry fees weren’t being wasted trying to compete against fake ads. Awards would finally start to mean something again.
So here’s my challenge to Cannes, the Clios, the One Show, the D&ADs, the Andys and every other award show out there. Immediately ban DDB Brazil and every individual credited on the entry. Put all DDB offices on warning. Crack down on the cheats. Clean up your shows. If agencies are going to lie, make them pay harshly for it when they’re discovered and maybe it’ll deter others in the future. Bring some respect back to the creative product and don’t celebrate people who invent things out of thin air for their own amusement. Celebrate those who do great creative work for clients – real clients. That is what should be rewarded, not mindless spec work masquerading as thoughtful, important, game changing advertising.
Filed under: Commentary | 38 Comments
Tags: advertising, awards, Commentary, ridiculous, rip-off