It is a painful indictment of the scandal that has beset the region’s ad industry in recent weeks that one of the most senior figures in global advertising feels impelled to express his sorrow at what happened at the Dubai Lynx awards.
Writing exclusively in the latest edition of Campaign Middle East, John Hegarty – worldwide creative director of BBH, bone fide legend of modern advertising and noted champion of ‘real work for real clients’ – says he was “really sad to read the news coming out of Dubai and of the scams surrounding the Lynx awards”.
In an impassioned essay, he says: “Scams undermine and threaten not only the awards schemes but also creative agencies. It will, if not stopped, devalue everything we all stand for and have fought for over the years. Just as the Olympics is trying to stamp out drug taking, so award schemes should be doing the same with scams.”
He argues that any agency found to have cheated should have all its entries withdrawn and, depending on the severity of the case, face a suspension from entering for a fixed period of time.
“Awards schemes have unleashed a beast that, if we don’t contain, will not only destroy them but also bring creativity into disrepute,” says Hegarty. “That is my greatest fear.”
Read the full essay in Campaign Middle East, out today, and let us know if you agree with what he says or you take a different view.