Goafest 2013: Now McCann's ad under scanner for plagiarism!

This perhaps is the best ever publicity for Goafest Creative Abby’s 2013. It is more than one week that the event has ended but the controversies surrounding the pursuit of metals and the big players involved in the high stakes makes it all the more exciting. The competitions have all the making of a school boy sports where one tries to outdo the other by whatever means possible just for a medal. First it was the Ford Figo JWT, then came Leo Burnett followed by BBDO and DDB Mudra. Some withdraw ads, some resent client’s letter to get them cleansed of their act, while for some the Awards Governing Council (AGC) took the initiative of voting them out of awards.

Small guys do it, it does not surprise but big guys – those sitting on high pedestals with fantastic pay packets working in globally acclaimed agencies doing it for awards is awful. This time around the name that has cropped up is that of the number one metals and grand prix winner McCann Erickson. The controversy against that of plagiarism and that too for its entry Active Total security Systems (ATSS) that won a print grand prix. The same agency’s Big Babool is also under scanner both for a bronze in Print and a silver in Print Craft categories.

One does not know the outcome since the date for objections to awards and entries elapsed on April 12. What will be AGC’s response remains to be seen. We at Adgully tried speaking to Shashi Sinha but could not reach him for his comments.

As for McCann’s ad in mention, the grand prix print winning campaign was for ATSS ‘Bank’. The idea it seems was drawn from a print ad for a Mio GPS print ad done five years back in 2008. There is a small difference in two ads. While McCann showed tangled houses, Mio GPS created by Bates Asia showed tangled roads. Both ads look similar and it is likely that grand prix may be withdrawn by the jury.

At this point of time sources say that there are several entries to which objections have been raised and demand for withdrawal has come to AGC. They are for Leo Burnett's ‘Tide Detergents’ (four silvers and a bronze across Print, Print Craft & Outdoor); Coke Studio (one gold, four silvers and a bronze across Design, Print, Outdoor, Integrated and Ambient); JWT's ‘ Sanctuary Asia Magazine’ (two silvers and three bronzes across Print, Outdoor, Design and Direct) and Godrej Security (a silver and a bronze in Print Craft). 

It remains to be seen whether the AGC takes action or chooses to let go since its more than a week that the event has concluded. If more big names drop out, then the credibility of the awards, already dented will be further eroded and lesser people will believe in good creative work in future. 


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