Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

THE WITH­DRAWAL of Ogilvy Jo­han­nes­burg’s Sil­ver Clio award for a His­tory Chan­nel ad­ver­tise­ment last week opened the door for Grey Group to take over top spot at the first big global awards event of the year. Los­ing the sil­ver – its sec­ond – cost Ogilvy 350 creative points on our AdRe­view scale and rel­e­gated it to sec­ond.

But Grey prob­a­bly de­serves the lead­er­ship any­way, as its tally was headed by a Gold. Net#work BBDO won the other South African Gold Clio.

Com­pared with last year, South Africa earned fewer awards: but they in­cluded an ex­tra gold and they were shared among 15 agen­cies, in­stead of 12.

Ogilvy’s with­drawn Clio came af­ter it was re­vealed an ad for DStv’s His­tory Chan­nel was run without client ap­proval, thus cre­at­ing sus­pi­cions of a scam. (Ads are con­sid­ered scams when they’re cre­ated purely to win awards and are of­ten pro­duced without clients ap­prov­ing and pay­ing for their flight­ing.)

Ogilvy Jo­han­nes­burg im­me­di­ately pulled the ad out of the com­pe­ti­tion and MD Ju­lian Ogilvy is adamant it was an in­no­cent mis­take. “We’re ab­so­lutely against scam ads and would never know­ingly en­ter one into a com­pe­ti­tion,” he says.

Ogilvy ac­knowl­edge the full and proper ap­proval process wasn’t fol­lowed. “Ow­ing to the sen­si­tiv­i­ties re­gard­ing this mat­ter we’ve taken all com­mer­cially rea­son­able steps to en­sure the ma­te­rial is re­moved from pub­li­ca­tion. The cam­paign has also been with­drawn from Clios 2009.”

Mul­ti­Choice mar­ket­ing and sales di­rec­tor Gra­ham Pfuhl, ob­vi­ously ea­ger to put the mat­ter to rest, says: “I be­lieve Ogilvy has al­ways had Mul­ti­Choice’s in­ter­ests at heart and cer­tainly still does.”

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