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April 3, 2013

Is the Ad-Awards Race Crushing the Client?

by MegNex

Is the Ad-Awards Race Crushing the Client?

When thinking about advertising it is common to consider how advertisements or marketing efforts can benefit and impact the company or new product being promoted and the potential consumer, but the value it can bring to advertising agencies is often overlooked. This article discusses how the importance of advertising awards is growing and can negatively impact agency clients.

Ad agencies are submitting “scam ads” to award shows that are inappropriate, politically incorrect, and out of line with client values in order to gain attention and recognition for the agency. These ads are not necessarily part of formal campaigns and do not follow the normal approval process, but they can highlight an agency’s creative ability.  

The AdAge article references the JWT and Ford fiasco in India. Recently, JWT entered a Ford ad into a festival that depicted women bound and gagged in the trunk of a hatchback. The public outcry in response to this ad was tremendous, and it had negative impacts worldwide for Ford.  It is unclear whether Ford was aware of the ad, but regardless it was not intended to reach global audiences.

Creating “scam ads” is not a new trend for creatives; however, with the rise of the internet and global communication, it is easier for these ads to go public. Creative directors now have to take responsibility and ask “‘WWCT: What would the client think?'” 

Overall, this article offers insight into the ulterior motives that ad agencies have and how they jeopardize customer value. 

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