Ban the cheats

Matthew Bull has a plan to im­prove the cred­i­bil­ity of ad awards

Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & marketing - BY TONY KOEN­DER­MAN tonyk@fin­

BAN LO­ERIES cheats for 10 years. That’s part of Lowe Bull chair­man Matthew Bull’s recipe for restor­ing client con­fi­dence in their ad agen­cies, which has been un­der­mined by the spread of “scam ads”.

Ev­ery­one has done it – made a TV ad for Guido’s Hair Salon that Guido nei­ther com­mis­sions nor pays for. It’s flighted at 2am when rates are low and it’s based on an amus­ing idea that wins an award. But is it an ad? Not re­ally – if it’s not paid for by a client.

Then there’s the border­line scam. In one ex­am­ple, a client agrees to sign off an ad that is not on-strat­egy, know­ing that it will es­cape no­tice at 2am and the agency will pay for it. But the client knows the agency is mo­ti­vated by self-in­ter­est, not the in­ter­ests of the brand.

Bull’s so­lu­tion? “You don’t ac­cept a sin­gle en­try with­out a let­ter from the client say­ing it has bought and paid for this work at fair mar­ket value. And cheats get banned from the Lo­eries for 10 years.

“Char­ity or pro bono awards are also border­line. They should be a sep­a­rate cat­e­gory from the real ads. Our job is not only to be creative but also to sell cre­ativ­ity. Oth­er­wise it’s self-in­dul­gent crap.”

Whether it’s jus­ti­fied or not, says Bull, “we have a sig­nif­i­cant im­age prob­lem with clients. There’s a lack of re­spect. We have got to bridge the gap but in­stead we have al­lowed it to widen. Part of the rea­son is we have lost their trust and this is to a large ex­tent be­cause of the kind of work that wins creative awards.

“The best place to re­build that re­la­tion­ship is the Lo­eries. We should be in­clud­ing clients in cel­e­brat­ing great work. The or­gan­i­sa­tion of the event is sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter than in the past, but be­cause of the lo­ca­tion – Mar­gate – it ex­cludes clients. Our clients loved go­ing to Sun City. Now they won’t go. So why not put it in an ac­ces­si­ble place?

“We want the Lo­eries to stand for some­thing. Sure, let’s have fun, but let’s take the busi­ness se­ri­ously. The an­swer is to value what we do more. We don’t value our­selves. A lit­tle more self re­spect will go a long way.”

Bull has been cam­paign­ing be­hind the scenes for an ef­fort to make the Lo­eries more re­spected by clients, and he has been vo­cally op­posed to Mar­gate as a venue be­cause its lack of fa­cil­i­ties dis­cour­ages client par­tic­i­pa­tion.

Lo­erie Awards MD Andrew Hu­man says the or­gan­i­sa­tion is not in­flex­i­bly wed­ded to Mar­gate. “We will hold the event in Mar­gate this year, but we are run­ning it on

The an­swer is to value

what we do more.

a year-to-year ba­sis as far as the lo­ca­tion is con­cerned. Af­ter this year we will again eval­u­ate.”

Hu­man says a VIP lounge will be pro­vided for net­work­ing, but points out that other se­ri­ous con­tent con­nected with the Lo­eries in­cludes a sem­i­nar held by the in­ter­na­tional judges four weeks be­fore Lo­eries week­end in July, and the Lo­erie Awards book. “We don’t want it to be an alien­at­ing process, but the func­tion must re­main cel­e­bra­tory. It’s an op­por­tu­nity for the whole in­dus­try to get to­gether for a week­end. Some mar­keters are happy with Mar­gate and Vo­da­com has shown this by com­ing in as a new ma­jor spon­sor.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.