Awards on a budget? Yes you Cannes!

April 20, 2009

cannes1Oh, how times have changed. Where once Cannes Lions held the promise of endless cocktails, flamboyant parties and untold glamour, the ad world is being enticed with the prospect of discount flights, bargain bus fares, free wi-fi and the chance to have a local supermarket deliver basic supplies to the door of your self-catering apartment.

Money is so tight in adland that the organisers of festival have resorted to sending out  missives advising potential attendees how to do Cannes without splashing a boat load of cash.

One piece of advice is: “Get a discounted flight with British Airways.” It’s a good idea, particularly with a special promotional discount available to Cannes Lions delegates. Not great for those in the Middle East, however, who would face an epic journey via Heathrow.

Two more tips are to “get a local SIM card and avoid roaming charges” and “share a serviced apartment and self-cater – supermarkets such as Monoprix and Casino  have a home delivery service”.

It’s all very laudable and at least proves that Cannes organisers are reacting to the financial issues which will deter many from attending. But it’s not quite the week of yacht trips, pool parties, luxury living and fine dining that most people in the industry have become accustomed to.

In the end, it’s a sign of the times, with some observers in the UK’s Campaign magazine openly questioning whether this traditionally flamboyant festival should be, well, canned.

It might be more about tinned beans than tiaras but one thing is for sure. Those long nights spent dancing on tables in the infamous ‘Gutter Bar’ will take on a whole new meaning. Gazing at the stars and all that.

BBH wades into scam ads storm

April 6, 2009

bbh-media-adAn interesting ad from BBH has appeared in the pages of Campaign’s sibling magazine in Asia, Media, proving that the scandal of scam ads plaguing this year’s Dubai Lynx certainly isn’t unique to the Middle East.

The full-page ad from BBH, an agency well-known for its tough anti-scam stance, poses the question: “What  would happen to our business if all the agencies in Asia stopped doing scam ads this year?”

It goes on to suggest a series of possible answers.:

“Would it handicap creativity, or refocus the best brains on paying brands? Could it dilute creative reputations, or simply make them more credible? Might clients even respect agencies more? Could they respect them less? Worst-case scenario: hundreds of thousands of dollars saved in award fees alone. What sort of agency wouldn’t cut those budgets before cutting staff? Surely questions worth asking – especially this year. Or maybe any.”

Just as the Lynx debate has been raging here, the publication of the ad has sparked an interesting debate, with Steve Elrick, executive creative director of BBH Asia, forced to defend his own reputation on the website of Campaign Brief Asia.

Fascinating reading for those of you who have been following the unpleasant aftermath of the Lynx awards.

FP7 launches its own internal Lynx investigation

March 26, 2009

FP7 has launched its own investigation into the legitimacy of some of FP7 Doha’s winning Lynx entries.

Azmi Yafi, CEO of FP7, UAE, is leading what he calls ‘a fact finding mission’. He said:  “Yes, we are prepared to take decisive action regarding any submission by FP7 Doha which genuinely contravenes the rules, regulations and the spirit of Lynx.”

Yafi and the management team are looking at every winning or shortlisted entry and investigating the accuracy of all pertinent entry-related information.

“This is not just about winning or losing at Lynx,” said Yafi. “This is about ethics, and practices, and about Promoseven’s responsibility towards our industry.”

The internal investigation was launched by the group’s top management after several allegations about irregularities. Yafi added: “We are looking into the allegations and if we have discrepancies from our end, we will take immediate and swift action to remedy them.”

The move follows the launch of an official investigation by  Dubai Lynx organisers into work for three of FP7 Doha’s clients (see previous post).

Late change of venue for Dubai Lynx

March 5, 2009

The venue for this year’s Dubai International Advertising Festival and Dubai Lynx Awards has been changed just 10 days before the event is due to kick off.

As a precautionary measure, the Palladium venue at Dubai Media City has been sidelined in favour of last year’s venue, the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Doubts had been voiced for weeks that the Palladium would not be ready in time.

Raymond Gaspar, the Palladium’s General Manager, said that, although the Palladium would be ready, it is “in the best interests of all concerned to relocate the event to ensure the overall success of the festival”.

The festival, which runs from 15-17 March, will take place in the convention centre’s Sheikh Rashid Hall, while the awards ceremony and dinner will be held in the Sheikh Maktoum Hall.