The credibility of Goafest 2008 seems to have taken a bit of a beating with a business daily ‘breaking’ the main awards results two days before the actual event, attributing its leak to a jury panel member. Ad men say this has never happened on such a scale and reflects poorly on the bonafides of the entire awards and the jury panel. A release from the Advertising Agencies Association of India, however, says that the information in the report was factually incorrect and misleading. And Piyush Pandey, executive chairman, Ogilvy and Mather India Pvt. Ltd (O&M) tells Mint: “Anybody who’s spoken to any media before the awards are announced is a disgrace to our industry.”
Plugging leaks: Ogilvy and Mather India’s Piyush Pandey.
Some ad men are also querying the unbiased nature of these awards. If the report proves true, then O&M—which has been sweeping the Abbys for years—wins no Grand Prix, “while agencies closely involved with the Goafest seem to have won Grand Prix Abbys, though admittedly some of them have done good work” notes one ad man, who, however, interestingly adds (predicts?) that “O&M will still win the most metals this year—if not the most influential ones.”
Some ad men, however, counter that O&M is strongest in televison, and the dominance of the Lead India campaign this year may explain any absence from the Grand Prix.
A noted ad official is however believed to have said after the Goafest judging rounds: “Everyone (jury panel) had polio of hand when it came to a show of hands for O&M ads.” Apparently, for tight decisions, discussions are sometimes followed by show of hands.
No comment: Leo Burnett India chairman Arvind Sharma.
The big buzz however relates to Leo Burnett India Pvt. Ltd perhaps winning the Grand Prix in print for Luxor Highlighters.
An ad man says, “The ad only appeared once, in the last week of December in the Free Press Journal, Indore edition. Could this be construed as scam and did it pass because there was no scrutiny committee?” Arvind Sharma, chairman, Leo Burnett India, did not comment, and said he felt it was too premature to discuss results, when the awards hadn’ttaken place.
Being open: Rediffusion DY&R president Mahesh Chauhan
Spotted: Rediffusion DY&R Pvt. Ltd ad men sporting bright orange T-shirts with ‘Bloody Rediff’ printed on them. “We are bad people, actually, and having a blast while we are at it. We thought we should wear our arrogance on our chests,” says Mahesh Chauhan, president, Rediffusion.
This is oddly reminiscent of O&M in the days when it was still enthused about ad festivals, swarming the venue in black- T-shirts to express solidarity.