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Credibility Check At Goafest

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And the award goes to…the one with the clear conscience. As the advertising fraternity got together in Goa for its annual jamboree, controversy decided to be the companion of creativity. If last year's event was marred by jury members leaking results, this year the scanner fell on agencies for not giving credits where it is due.

Two days before the actual awards night on 9 April, one of the country's foremost advertising agencies, JWT, withdrew its nomination from the digital category for one of the most noticed ads this year, Nike's ‘Bleed Blue' campaign. Reportedly, the ad had won a gold in the digital category, but JWT had missed out on giving credits to digital agency AKQA that has been a co-creator of the digital work on Bleed Blue. A senior industry person saw that as a technical error and said that JWT was gracious in bowing out before someone else raised the point.

Sources added that three other top agencies were also under the scanner by audit firm KPMG, which is re-evaluating results two days before the awards will be announced. When contacted Goafest chairperson Lynn de Souza said that the audit process was a part of the plans. "This was planned and not a last-minute decision," she said adding that "at every step we are trying our best to ensure the process is very transparent".

Josy Paul, chairman BBDO India, told Businessworld, "The suspicion that one can still navigate through rules and find loopholes is there, but I am glad that it's being verified at the right time. Just goes to show what Goafest stands for — clean and worthy advertising." Raise a toast of Feni to that.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 18-04-2011)