Mark Wnek on Advertising: Why win an award that's worthless?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
It's entering time for advertising awards, but the only awards system worth entering doesn't exist. All current schemes cost vast amounts to enter: hundreds of pounds per go. And for what? So that a group of pony-tailed, super-annuated art student lookalikes with about as much knowledge of the art of salesmanship as John Tylee has of sartorial elegance can sit around, ignore your ads and give each other awards.

The snottiest, most luvvied-up and out of touch of these awards, D&AD, which has this year with delightful aptness appointed a president called Dick, will claim that it does charitable stuff: it invests millions in helping educate more pony-tailed art student lookalikes with about as much knowledge of the art of salesmanship (you know? Selling?) as Mark Cadman has of loyalty.

Campaign magazine fuels this idiocy with such subtle, yet effective, stuff as sticking "award-wining" in front of advertising creatives' names. Anyone would think Campaign had a vested interest in ad awards, and anyone would be right: Campaign has its own press, poster and now media awards, the proceeds of which do not, I presume, go to charity. If they do, I'll be happy to lead with that in next week's column.

No, the only fair award system worth entering would be one where you gave everybody in every recognised agency free votes in categories posted online, with no voting for your own agency or work. The Advertising and Design Oscars. End of.

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