Sri Lanka’s Biggest Hypocrites!

Wanna know where to find Sri Lanka’s biggest hypocrites? If you said “parliament” you’re totally off the mark. They’re in the advertising industry! And at the very top most levels of advertising at that. I’m sure they’re quite a few people chuckling out there and wondering where this is going, so let me explain.

I was privileged to attend the “Hottest Awards” briefing / workshop for agency heads today and listen in on some of the  blueprint changes that are being recommended by the new committee. I think that 99% of their suggestions would certainly improve and also streamline the entire process. Having said this, I have serious issues with one of the items brought up for discussion. The SCAM issue!

The new committee has come up with a process in which they hope to minimize, if not totally eliminate scam entries. Of course, they admit that the process isn’t totally foolproof and we can still have the occasional scam piece falling through the cracks. Fair enough, nobody’s perfect.

Now my issue is not with the committee, but with the agency heads (Mainly the so called ‘big agencies’) who were there today. When the issue was tabled, there was much sanctimonious shaking of heads and outright condemnation of scam. In fact, there were even suggestions to the committee on how the rules should be made even stricter. Once again, well and good. But my question is how many of these agency heads, with their holier than thou attitudes, will actually be saying ‘No’ to scam entries from their own agencies when push comes to shove? I mean, come off it people, we all know that 99% of the agencies are right now burning the midnight oil to cram as many scam ads into these last two months of the year! No matter how loudly they scream and shout in denial, it IS happening. So why waste everybody’s time with these silly bloody discussions and self righteous prancing? We all know scam is going to be entered and scam is going to win. So just live with it!

Also, I think that with everybody getting their knickers in a twist about scam, we’re forgetting a very fundamental and important reason for which the “Hottest Awards” were initially started. I believe it was to find a way to bring Sri Lankan advertising up to a world class level where we can go one on one with the international agencies at Adfest, Ad Asia and even Cannes, and actually stand a bloody chance of winning right? Having said that, it’s common knowledge that there’s an enormous amount of scam that’s entered at all these award shows. This has been accepted by many of the judges and the top most creatives worldwide.

So then what bullshit sense does it make for us in Sri Lanka to ban scam when we would ultimately be competing against scam in the international arena anyway? Isn’t this a bit like shooting ourselves in the foot? I mean if scam is going to be entered and awarded at Cannes, shouldn’t we just accept that fact and let our local boys flex their creative muscles and come up with the best ideas they can, scam or otherwise? What chance will we ever have of winning anything, if we’re going to be stuck in this hypocritical argument about scam every bloody year???

Also, if our clients never see the extreme creative potential of the agencies and how that could actually work for their brands, when are we ever going to see a radical change in the standards of Sri Lankan advertising. Probably never is the answer!

Its my firm belief that even scam advertising should be recognised and allowed to be entered into any creative awards show. After all, if the scam entry isn’t brilliant in its own right, it won’t win. And if its good enough to win, then Bravo to the creatives and the agency that comes up with it. Because they’re the only guys who’re ever going to bring back an award from Cannes!

So to all you agency hypocrites out there, who look like they’ve smelled dog shit everytime the word scam is mentioned, Grow up FFS or get the fuck out of the way of those who have the ability to get the Cannes!!!

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4 Responses to “Sri Lanka’s Biggest Hypocrites!”

  1. Joe Says:

    Why not have a separate award for scam ads?

    And can you tell me – I’m not in advertising – why it is so hard to stop agencies from entering scam ads for awards? Surely the awards committee can request that every ad submitted for consideration should attach a certificate from the ad client approving the ad and confirming that it was commissioned, paid for, and released for distribution? Wouldn’t that weed out the scam ads?

    I didn’t know about scam advertising before reading this post, went online and did some research. Highly interesting!

  2. thekillromeoproject Says:

    The whole reason for not preventing the scam / having seperate scam awards is because we’re anyay going to compete against scam on an international level, Joe. Also just by asking the agency and the client to certify that an entry is not scam, doesn’t guarantee the fact. There are instances where the client too is ok with signing the entry!

  3. ripster Says:

    Are we living in a puffy dreamscape? As i remember advertising is about adverting something for an intended effect, mostly selling or promoting something. And as i remember too good advertising is about impact and interruption. Why should advertising awards be about sole creativity? I thought we are doing business and not boasting wankers.
    These award shows have become massive money suckers. The organizers get more successful with more plingpling and eyecandy stuff. But does this increase quality? Nope.
    It makes the overall impression that we can be creative only for scam in award shows, that we have no real spine to sell difficult ideas to difficult clients. Are we a bunch of faggots who cannot deal with clients in business terms or are the agency structures so fucked up in communications that good work won’t arrive the surface?
    I believe it’s a mix. People have no muscles and courage to fight, because getting awards is so easy nowadays. While waste creativity and energy on clients when you can do so on awards.

    Fact is we need people who stop this award wanking, by taking action, not joining and doing better stuff for clients than for awards.

    A faceless horde of ad guys …. that’s the business today

  4. realfantasy23 Says:

    I’ve also read similar psot about this “Scam” thing od Brandon’s blog as well…out of curiuosty what is this “SCAM” anyway? is it another advertising agency? 😛

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