Creative Awards Are Rubbish

More creative awards bashing, but not from us this time, you may be relieved to note. A pat on the back to our mate Rubbishcorp for his great post on the state of the ad business and creative awards. We couldn't agree more.

If you haven't read it yet, have a look here.


  1. We all know the flaws of advertising awards but as long as we don't take them too seriously, where's the harm? They help creatives get better jobs and pay-rises. It's a night on the piss. If you think they're a load of bollocks then simply choose not to enter and don't go on about it. By posting about them all the time you're feeding the publicity that surrounds them and simply a pawn in their evil game.

  2. Because, anonymous poster, I think that the current situation with ad awards are contributing to the decline of the business.

    And that in some circles they do influence whether creatives get pay-rises or better jobs is a fundamental part of the problem.

    Every time a client is left feeling shafted because their agency took the money and then made something self-indulgent that did fook-all for business it does damage that will take much much more time to undo, who can blame a client for looking elsewhere for expertise or help when the people who work in their ad agencies care more about shiny gold paperweights than helping them?

    And because I think the current awards systems skew young creative minds in an abstract and unhelpful direction, and are helping to speed the sidelining of creative people and real creative thinking in advertising.

    And because, even though it would be easy just to just carry on with our own business and ignore that they exist, I'd rather try to do something about it.

    Thanks for asking though.

  3. It's a comprehensive riposte and yet where does it say that awarded work isn't also successful in producing ROI? If a client feels that a concept is designed to purely win awards then they have more than enough opportunities to veto the concept before it's produced. Agencies can't afford to lose business these days so I'm sure they will be doing their all to get measurable results, regardless of awards. Yes, I take your point that the art of scam ads/award ads may have influenced young minds adversely but that issue would appear to be being addressed, most recently by D&AD?

  4. Let's get scam ads out of the way first. They're daft. I don't really think about them too much (apart from when I spot them), that's not I'm talking about here. 

    So if a client doesn't clock that the agency has sold them a self-indulgent crock de merde it's their own fault? Should it not be the agency's primary goal to make sure that everything it does for a client is going to work as well as possible?

    The sad fact is that despite what agencies (and clients) would like to think, most creatives are primarily motivated by creative awards and the rewards that they in turn bring. That wouldn't nesessarily be a bad thing if those awards were judged on creativity pointed in the right direction - creativity that's used to make the advertising work better. But as anyone who has had any brushes with the awards will tell you, that just ain't the case I'm afraid. Some tricksy art direction might get an award for typography, even though in that case a simpler execution would have worked better. A well directed opus migh win a Cannes gold, even though it's meaningless and just an expensive folly. 


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