Goafest 2013: Just as we expected! Matters put to rest

In the drama that ensued after the startling revelations of big agencies being involved in scam ads, the Awards Governing Council (AGC), Goa fest 2013 had constituted a Super Jury of Chairpersons of all 11 juries to take a collective view on these complaints. The Super Jury comprised of   Agnello Dias, Carlton D’silva, Josy Paul, K S Chakravarthy, Nitish Tiwari, Piyush Panjwani, Prasoon Joshi, Prashant Kalyankar, Rakshin Patel and Sonal Dabral.

The final decision of the Super Jury was rather dampening. When all were eagerly waiting for the verdict, all that one gets is an eyewash. What was the point in creating all the hype & hoopla about the constitution of the group. The AGC could have well stated categorical that no further reviews will be done once awards have been given away. This whole exercise seems to be a ‘please all’ one and a wasted  one too.

The Super Jury met yesterday and it unanimously came to the decision that there had been enough time given between the short listing of entries and the final judging for feedback and objections of any kind to be raised. All such feedback was accepted and acted upon before the final awards were presented. The Super Jury felt that the sanctity of the award process needs to be maintained and all the deadlines should be respected and followed. Therefore any speculation after the Goa fest/Abby Awards cannot be entertained.

Since Abby’s are industry awards, it was decided that the final decision would lay with the creative fraternity. Thus the Super Jury’s decision is final and all awards given will stand. With this decision coming into force BBDO Proximity came out to be a winner as their metals for DHL will be reinstated. So will be DDB Mudra’s metal for Electrolux.

The AGC has also noted that for the future rules pertaining to reviews will be further clarified and strictly adhered to.

Thus with this matters come to rest and perhaps the advertising industry will go back to work. But the questions remains have the Abby awards become a farce in the name of creativity?  Will the advertising professionals continue to have faith in awards that does not promote creativity but plagiarism? Let’s wait till the next Goa fest to find a concrete answer.

There has to be some new rules or eligibility criteria. Maybe some form of penalty for agencies entering scam awards. They can be barred from further participation in next two year’s event. Also agencies publishing ads in some obscure publication to gain entry needs to be looked into. One can rely on Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC)’s data for instance and only those with a certain mimimum reach where ads have been published should be selected for  entry.

After all they are awards and not a matter of life & death for the agencies.


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