Scam ads: how we are dealing with them at the festival in Dubai.

March 16, 2009

Now the ad itself can be a "scam"Now the ad itself can be a scam (from my post on Adfreak)…

It is not a question of whether scam ads exist (of course they do) but, rather, what is the strategy for dealing with them?

Sometimes called “ghosts,” a scam ad is loosely defined as any creative work done for a bogus client or for a real client without their permission. In addition, it is a scam for the agency to underwrite all efforts on behalf of the creative. There are other definitions and distinctions. Suffice it to say, the grey area is huge. And with young creatives dying to become famous the matter never ends.

We are likely seeing a few scams in the Dubai Lynx and from the usual suspects –a small shop that somehow has media budgets for full-color print or the toy company that hasn’t made advertising in real life (ever) but is somehow represented.

Suspicions aroused, we judges are instructed to tell a member of the festival staff. He or she then promptly makes inquiries to the suspected agency and client. Legitimate corroboration is required in order for the advertising to remain in the show.

Competitors will always look for an edge. In this way, scam ads are a bit like steroids. Unavoidable. Even understandable. But unfair and against the rules. That these ads are always stunning in concept and craft makes it difficult for a creative director to eliminate. But kill them we must.

Dubai Lynx are methodical in handling this universal problem and do a marvelous job maintaining the show’s integrity as well as its operation.


2 Responses to “Scam ads: how we are dealing with them at the festival in Dubai.”

  1. elijahP said

    When it comes to local shows at least, it seems that fake ads are politely frowned upon but not policed as well as they do in Dubai. I forget: do they behead or cane there? In any event, with award entries in most shows plummeting this year, and with awards being the big revenue generator for local ad federations, I think it will be difficult for local judging chairmans to be as strict as they should. Of course, we’ve all seen the faux ads for local condom shop or jazz preservation society win best of shows for decades. And usually it elicits little more than a collective eye-brow raising.

  2. Mike55 said

    Despite what might happen in other regions, here it Dubai it’s more often than not the big network multinationals that are guilty of churning out scams. The small local shops, by comparison, are generally too busy working on real clients – the big boys, on the other hand, will happily turn over teams to knock out stuff for the local chip shop if it means raising their profile.

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