The One Show acts on scam ads with five year ban threat to agencies and creatives

WWF Tsunami.jpgNot only are scam ads the target of a crack down by the New York One Show but the one-off, media paid but the agency entries will also be targeted. This will have a massive impact on entries from Asia.

Faced with the embarrassing fall out of DDB Brazil's "Tsunami 9/11" scam ad for the WWF (read here and here) the One Club (who run the One Show) has issued a statement and declared penalties for agencies and creatives involved in scam ad entries. These penalties involve a ban on future entries to One Show for a period of 5 years. But it is the second part of the One Club's statement that will have a widespread impact on Asia's metal performance at the awards show.

To be fair, very few entries from Asia run without a client approval of some kind. They are always signed off by a client or, at the very least, the owner of a store that retails that product. However, The One Club statement also targets ads that are created expressly for award show entry and the creators of these entries face 3 year bans.

It is this part of the One Club statement that will be of most interest to agencies in Asia.

An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad that has run once, on late night TV, or has only run because the agency produced a single ad and paid to run it themselves*, will be banned from entering The One Show for 3 years.

* The One Club reserves the right to review 'late-night, ran-once' and launch versions, at The One Club's discretion. If it is determined that the ad was created expressly for award show entry, the penalty will hold.
Now everyone reading this knows as well as CB Asia does that this accounts for around 90% of all print entries from Asia to the One Show. As well as any other international awards show. And, to be fair, this also accounts for a large percentage of entries from other parts of the world like South America, Europe, South Africa, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

You only have to take a very quick look through the Pencil winners from last year's One Show to realise the impact this decision will have. Draw a line right the way through all those karate school entries, the restaurant ads, those ice-cream ads, the bookshop ads, those detergent ads with the product in the bottom right hand corner, the whole public service category. All those ads where you got a friendly photographer and retoucher to donate their time and the agency paid (or negotiated) for the ads to run in bus shelters or in IS and Timeout magazine and the like. Gone. 

And the impact goes further - every Thai or Chinese print awards entry that uses English language for the headline or copy would now be ineligible because these are obviously ads and campaigns that are "tidied up" for entry to awards.

It's certainly a brave decision for any awards show to make - especially in this economic environment. It could be argued that the huge publicity that this ad has created over the past two weeks has forced One Show's hand. But with all award shows already looking at around 35-40% overall reductions in entries this is bound to further reduce entries to One Show. Two prominent ECDs that Campaign Brief Asia spoke to over the weekend publicly welcomed the One Show decision, but privately agreed that they believed many networks would probably just decide to skip all entries to One Show this year to not only avoid any risk of public humiliation but, equally, to appease Chief Financial Officers who have decimated their budgets for award entries. 

It's going to be fascinating to watch how this all plays out over the next six months. Below is the full statement from the One Show. It makes interesting reading and is very comprehensive - the only thing missing is the paragraph on the horse-whipping of last year's jury members who actually thought this very average WWF "Tsunami" ad from DDB Brazil was a good ad and awarded it with Merit status!

In the light of the recent events surrounding the "Tsunami Ad" created by DDB Brazil for WWF, the One Club announces today that we will implement what we believe to be the most stringent and thorough "fake ads" policy in our industry.

The One Club defines "fake ads" as: ads created for nonexistent clients or made and run without a client's approval, or ads created expressly for award shows that are run once to meet the requirements of a tear sheet.

For 2010 and onwards, the One Show will be adopting the following new rules and penalties.

1. An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad made for nonexistent clients, or made and run without a client's approval, will be banned from entering the One Show for 5 years.

2. The entire team credited on the "fake" entries will be banned from entering the One Show for 5 years.

3. An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad that has run once, on late night TV, or has only run because the agency produced a single ad and paid to run it themselves*, will be banned from entering The One Show for 3 years.

* The One Club reserves the right to review 'late-night, ran-once' and launch versions, at The One Club's discretion. If it is determined that the ad was created expressly for award show entry, the penalty will hold.

The One Club exists to champion excellence in advertising and design in all its forms. We will stringently enforce these rules and penalties to ensure that The One Show remains the pinnacle of advertising and design created for marketers and brands.

The One Show encourages other international award shows to follow suit with similar policies. In addition, we are in the process of developing an initiative in the agency, client, and creative communities, in which individuals and agencies will be called upon to monitor and eliminate "fake" ads at their source. A detailed guidelines will appear in the 2010 One Show Call for Entry."


Anonymous said:

It's going to be a very thin annual next year.

Anonymous said:

Most of the people in Singapore might as well retire.

Anonymous said:

This is a positive development. Someone has to pull in scam. But I think this will make One Show more american than it already is. I also believe judges will be against ads from outside of the US this year so there is little point entering this year.

Anonymous said:

Thank you DDB Brazil. We hope you're proud of yourselves.

Todd said:

Here's a thought - if most agencies are going to not enter because their ad for the local coffee shop might get them banned, why not make the One Show worth while to those who do slug it out all year and get awarded for real clients?

Why doesn't Campaign Brief give One Show awards double (or even triple) points on the Creative Rankings?

The advantages are twofold. One, it would finally give more kudos to creatives and agencies who are making real ads for real clients. Two, it would encourage people to spend money on the One Show and hopefully make this little experiment a success. (Because let's face it, if this fails and the show goes back to the way it was it's basically the advertising industry admitting it can't do real work anymore.)


Anonymous said:

Interesting thought Todd but I think this is a sweeping under the carpet exercise by One Show who are getting badly punished by the publicity. If they were serious about scam they would look at last year's winners and retract about half of them.

I too agree with September 7th 8.56 - every entry from outside of the US next year will be considered suspect but the jury (who are 95% from US agencies).

One Show is for americans like DandAD is for the british.

Cannes is the important show.

Anonymous said:

Such a fuss over such an average ad.
You are right Campaign Brief the jury do deserve horse whipping.

Anonymous said:

Hmmm....One Show is lobbying aggressively to get the other shows like Cannes and D&AD to follow the ban rules too. They will also work with clients and encourage more whistle blowing to uncover scam entries. If they succeed, this will be a huge thorn in Asia's side. Now MDs of scamming agencies will have to spend more on running an ad not just once but a few times. KInda like buying a premium award for a premium price.

Just imagine this shock scenario....they can't do scam....they sure as hell can't do a good real ad or win new business...what are these highly paid creatives going to do? They were primarily hired to up their agency's creative profile, what's next for them? If they're shut down, how are MDs going to justify their huge salaries to their boards? Troubling questions for some of Asia's finest, no doubt.

Anonymous said:

So, rather than Campaign Brief award Double points to One Show...why not use it's pull on the other shows to get them to follow suit?

So you would ONLY get points from shows that are making an effort to be scam free?

Surely more sensible and better for the business as a whole?

Then Campaign Brief can take kudos for starting the change - away from scam!

Anonymous said:

Who cares if the annual is would just increase the value of the award. Who cares if 90% of Asia doesn't would just make for a more inspirational volume of ads...instead of formulaic visual ideas. One Show will of course take a hit on revenues...and they are fully aware of it. As the guy who started DDB said 'A principle isn't a principle until it costs you money'. In todays world of crooked hedge funds and bernie made-offs, that's not so bad. Maybe now creatives will build their reputations and earn their promotions the hard way....the right way.

Anonymous said:

All true. And its good that this is happening.

But I guarantee you the big proactive winners now will continue being the big winners even with the new rules.

Fact is all those guys who are anti-scam weren't producing great real work to begin with. If they are please show it to me.

As far as I can se the best real work still comes out of the agencies that produce the best scam work.

When you level the playing field the same names will keep popping up. There might be less winners, but they'll still win.

Wanna bet?

Anonymous said:

Who cares? It's just an ad.

Anonymous said:

In Those "Scam" agencies, creatives spend 70 to 80 percent of their time on scam. The rest is spent doing the bare minimum for real clients. As long as they buy it who cares if it's good. Just make it go away so I can get to procolor to check my latest WWF scam ad. I know because I used to be one.

Now with this that 80% of their time will have to gradually shift to doing great work for real clients. and also pushing them to buy it, educating them. It will be a long path maybe years maybe decades. But in the end you will have more savvy clients buying more creative and effective work. That will also win Awards.

Times are a changing.......... About time

Anonymous said:

What is more alarming is that One Show is encouraging individuals and agencies to report "fake" ads. This could result in witch hunting where even legitimate ads can be subjected. Yes, they will issue a guideline but it can be abused. It's a divisive move where agencies will point fingers at each other . It can destroy agencies, creatives and clients WITTINGLY.

Anonymous said:

Interesting to see that Cannes, AWARD, Clio etc are not yet adopting such stringent anti-scam rules as One Show. I guess this is their way of saying that fake ads are ok with them and they'd much rather have the entry fees than care about what's right. If I were a scammer, I'd be making these shows the focus of all my attention.

Bravo One Show....the One (and only) Show to publicly take a stance against cheaters.

Anonymous said:

Come on 4.16pm. Take a breath of fresh air. You think the One Show has suddenly grown a conscience? They are getting the shit kicked out of them in the States. That's why this new development.

Anonymous said:

As long as shows keep inviting renowned scammers to be judges, nothing is gonna change.

Anonymous said:

6pm...stop being so damned patronising.....every reaction needs a catalyst (i think we all know that) case of One Club it was the DDB Brazil ad. Who cares...stop your negativity. A lot of good will come out of this.

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