Last year, McCann Erickson chairman Prasoon Joshi was the star of Goafest. Joshi’s commercial for HappyDent chewing gum won accolades from his peers and international guests alike. His agency won the coveted Grand Prix award in the films category, besides receiving 11 awards, including two gold and four silver medals, in other segments.
But, this year, Joshi has decided to stay away from the award function.The buzz in advertising circles is that Joshi and his agency have decided to abstain from the event to protest the hosting of Abby, an import from the Ad Club Bombay awards, at Goafest. Joshi, however, refuses to admit this.
In an interview with Mint, he says he wants to focus on good work rather than dissipating energy on participating in all award functions.
We thought the acrimony around awards was over. But your decision to stay away from Abby’s at Goafest indicates all is not well yet.
We will be present in a large number at the Goafest. In fact, this time, McCann’s contingent at Goafest is larger than last year’s. So, we are participating in spirit. However, as far as the awards ceremony is concerned, we have decided to keep away. After consulting my team, we decided to wait and watch this year. We would like to see how this award shapes up.
Lighting up: The HappyDent ad.
What are your reservations?
It (the Abby awards at Goafest) is a new entity. We would like to first see how it emerges philosophically and conceptually.
A recent media report quoted you as saying that awards take up too much time and hence we have decided to keep off the award function this year. But, at the same time, you said you will participate in all other leading awards. How do you explain this contradiction?
Probably, the essence of what I said did not come out the way I meant it. When it comes to award shows, you cannot possibly enter all. You have to prioritize. That is all I meant.
So, the Goa award doesn’t figure in your list of priorities? Or, are you opposed to the way the Goafest award is being conducted?
I can’t say how it is going to be conducted. That has yet to be seen. We are definitely not opposed to awards or award shows. We are entering all the major regional and international awards as always. And, surely, if all pans out well, then we will participate in Goa, too, in future.