Advertising Agency Awards??!!

Synopsis. Cannes viral video award was won by Speed Undressing – and mightily pissed off the “client” JC Penney. Agency User Generated Content Anyone? (AUGC)

I wrote earlier about Save Our Advertising: speak up, get with it, get engaged with the online community, connect. And I’m speaking to the advertising agencies themselves, not their clients. From Opinionopolis:

As someone who works in advertising, and has worked in advertising for well over a decade, this is simply very, very funny.

Ever since I can remember the award shows have been dominated… well, not “dominated”, but something darn close… by ads that were not quite “real”.

Frequently establishing very successful careers for their unscrupulous submitters.

And I’ve certainly had that opportunity, too. (Opinionopolis)

So, in Save Our Advertising I asked the industry to start to manage it’s own brand message:

Of course companies are turning to customers to create ads. If the advertising industry can’t fix their own message and brand image, how can they successfully deliver the clients‘ communications? (my post)

Here’s a nice part of the Opinionopolis post that goes some way to redeem negative branding – especially those viewers who think crap ads are the agencies fault:

You see, in the “ad world”, our clients routinely kill good work. Sometimes even insanely great work. Work that is not only way, way better than most of the crap you see on TV, and in magazines, but ads that would win us awards, and actually make our client’s product/or/service fly off the proverbial shelves.

Stupid clients.

So why didn’t I do it? Because I don’t cheat, that’s why. And neither do the vast majority of people in the ad industry.

But, alas, some do. (Opinionopolis)

And by outing unethical agency behaviour, naming and shaming agencies, we start to redress the balance and force agencies into being nice, not naughty:

And so now these numbnutz at Saatchi NY and Epoch Films have gotten caught with their greedy little paws in the liquor cabinet, and it’s all the talk of the Ad World.

The “talk of Ad World” is in fact the “fake ad” Speed Undressing, JC Penny department store.

Teen Sex JC Penney Ad – Watch more free videos
(If it gets taken down again from YouTube: The kids practice speed undressing before going down to the basement to have sex.

It was submitted to Cannes as a “viral video” and won. JC Penney are miffed:

It was an unauthorized fake, and executives at the department store are royally pissed. “It’s obviously inappropriate and nothing we would ever condone,” Penney’s chief marketing officer told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re very disappointed that our logo and brand position were used in that way.” (Gawker)

And remember… staff are members of online communities too, and can spread stuff virally whether you want them to, or not:

“The commercial was never broadcast, but rather was created by a former employee at JC Penney’s advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, solely as an award submission without JC Penney’s knowledge or prior approval.”

The culprits are outed on Ad Age.
From Opinionopolis again:

Now can we please stop giving out awards to FAKE ads already?

There are way too many of us who work in the real world. We actually have these things called “briefs” and “strategies”, and after we work our asses off we have to have our concepts approved by these people called “clients” before they run. Oh yeah, and then they have to actually RUN. And with the client’s permission.


It’s high time this blatant brand of award grabbling be recognized for what it is: cheating.

So I reckon that the advertising agencies of Australia should get together and have a group blog, revealing what’s going on for real. It can either be NineInchHeels-ish (that blog that was written by maybe-editors of beauty magazines) complete with pseudonyms and sarcasm and snark, or an honest and worthy tome (I vote for the former). But seriously, get with it, start showing you can lead the field in establishing and delivering brand messages. Yes, advertising needs PR and Marketing themselves!

Anyway, it’s the customer that has the last word. A nice fan parody advertisement, and one that JC Penney would probably prefer/approve of, rather than the ‘encouraging teens to have sex’ one…

… like teens ever needed encouragement to have sex! *rolls eyes* Though those girls seem like nice young ladies. 😀

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

Recent Posts