Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This Really Is The Last Cannes Post, I Promise.

Yes, I know Cannes is over. But sometimes the fall-out takes a few days to settle.

First of all, I got in touch with the team from DDB South Africa who won the Press Grand Prix (for Energizer batteries), which later proved to be based on the same idea as a Nickelodeon campaign.

Here is what their ECD Gareth Lessing had to say (best read in a South African accent):

Shit ya we ripped it off completely!!!


It's always shit when there is something else out there and it's only brought to your attention after it has won anything. We are not the first guys it's happened to, and trust me we won't be the last.

Are there really those out there that rip work off? If so, sad, but there are probably more who acuse people of ripping than there are who actually do rip work off.

I would never enter a piece of work into Cannes if I knew it had been done. I'm always the one to say the shit words...."Hey that's been done" but I am not psychic and would never assume or accuse the team of ripping it off.

Yip i have seen the Nickelodeon stuff "NOW" because it's been shoved in my face.

All I can say is - hey, that website that shows duplicate work [Coloribus, Joe La Pompe] now has a new entry. Than again, maybe it's already there with a piece that was done even before it...


Props to Gareth, for having the cojones to come on here and make what I think is a pretty convincing defence.

Second of all, it seems this almost completely unbranded Thai 48-sheet for Alka-Seltzer, which was originally awarded a Silver, has been withdrawn from the competition.

Philip Thomas, the Cannes Lions CEO, told Campaign journalist Suzanne Bidlake that some entries are withdrawn at a late stage and that “it’s not for us to question why.” That's right. Don't bother policing your rules, or sanctioning those who break them.

Thirdly of all, and worstly of all, is a scandal surrounding this lovely ad, which won a Bronze in the film category. (It's been taken down from YouTube, if that last link doesn't work, try searching under 'speed dressing').

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. retailer J.C.Penney knew absolutely nothing about the ad, and is pissed off because its racey message is out of line with their values.

To me, this is a new low. There used to at least be some honour amongst scammers. You could pay to make an ad yourself, and you could pay for it to run (once) yourself, but you had to at least get the client's permission.

If that rule is gone, I might as well shoot someone with a cellphone up their a***, say "Is your mobile network screwing you?" stick a T-Mobile logo on it, and send it in for a Lion. Good chance, do you think?

UPDATE - AdRants hears that the J.C. Penney ad has been withdrawn from Cannes.


Anonymous said...

Did that JC Penney ad have anything whatsoever to do with Tony Grainger? I bet it did. All hail the King of Scam

Anonymous said...

That thing you say about the cell phone, It's done. Not a mobile but a Gas Bill tough.

No, seriously. Shame on Saatchis. It surely is a first for them.


Anonymous said...

Here's a question.
You think Gorilla would have ever win GP if Juan'd have shot it when working in Argentina as a scam?

Anonymous said...

Scamp, it's not such a 'new thing' is it. It's obvious that the agency got permission from one the lesser members of J.C. Pennis chain of approvals, a guy that's probably selling hot dogs by now.

Scam aside, don't you think it's just a reflection of how hypocrite American culture is?

Anonymous said...

"Scam aside, don't you think it's just a reflection of how hypocrite American culture is?"

....uh, how'd did you make that connection?

Anonymous said...

It's time Cannes (and other awards shows) came down hard on scam. Certain agencies, regions and individuals have been getting away with it for too long. Even respectable places here, like AMV, have been making ads for "clients" like the local church and a shoe shop in recent years. It's time to stop it and the media and awards organisers can do this. Weed out the cheats and ban them. It happened to Belford and Roberts who have probably learnt a lesson - why not ban more cheats?

Anonymous said...

Would Gorilla have won if a junior team at McCanns had done it? I think not. And as you all know, what I think is always right.

Aristotle said...

For Cannes or similar awards schemes to police themselves is a bit too much to ask. They are already very busy counting the money from entry fees.

If you remove all the scam entries that didn't win or get a nomination then I'd estimate you'd have a 30-50% fewer entries. A lot of money out of people's pockets.

Rob said...

maybe the title of this blog has one letter too many at the end.

Lunar BBDO said...

Never mind this 'scam' stuff, what's with censoring the word 'arse'?

Or was it anus?

Anonymous said...

America lives in a double moral culture. 'Oh, it's not in line with our values'. Fuck you, J.C. Penney, look around you , couples like the one in the ad are humping each other ALL THE TIME. In fact, they probably find sex boring by that age and have graduated to threesomes.

That is what american society is like, teens don't get together to do knitwear or whatever the fuck you think they do.

Stop being hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

@ Lunar, better get used to this cojones-free Scamp. He's ben like that since Campaign and the likes of Jeremy Craigen watch this space.

Anonymous said...

Ok on the JC Penny thing.....the word around NY is that it was produced after Tony Granger had left so the answer is no it does not have anything to do with Tony Granger.

Anonymous said...

cheers for clearing that up tony.

Anonymous said...

Scam is shit. From here on out, people who are caught need to be blacklisted from entering all the shows, period. That would solve most of it.

The problem with the energizer idea is that it's a very studenty idea, not based in anything about the product or probably not based on a real brief, so of course the idea is going to have been used for everything under the sun. Like everything in Archive.

Double page spreads for a 2.99 battery, Mr. Gareth Lessing? You gonna tell us that's a real ad campaign? South Africa Energizer must have a HUGE budget.

Then again, almost all of the Cannes print were blatant fakes, so you're in good company amongst your peers.

You should join the real business one day.

Anonymous said...

What about the hoo hah about Heinz removing the ad showing the New York Deli bloke kissing the other bloke.

Apparantly all the gays are boycotting Heinz products AND all the anti-gays are boycotting them too. Holy moly.

Anyway the latest is that Heinz are bringing out a Baked Bean & Pork Sword variety to appease the gays.

And Baked Bean & Curtain of Beef variety to appease the homophobes.

Ooooh extra suce matron?

My word verification is spematozoa.

Scamp said...

So I have no cojones. Says 'anonymous'.

Nick said...

It's no surprise that scams occur within the creative community. Being a creative is all about bending the rules. Next year, play the game to win Scamp, whatever it takes. You might even have some fun doing it.

Anonymous said...

Cannes has a set of rules and you can choose to obey the letter or the spirit.

But I'm not sure Cannes has a proper spirit about the ads being 'real' anyway. Bottom line: they just want your cash.

The scam argument has been going on for years and I love hearing it trotted out like it's one of the ten commandments by ad people who will happily shag around on their wives (not you, obv, Scamp), snort coke (ditto) and keep their departments white and male.

There are much bigger/shittier things occurring than whether an ad has followed a set of entry rules but we still deem it to have been 'wrong'.

I think Jay-Z said, 'What you eat don't make me shit.'

Wise words.

Alan Wolk said...

I realize that shows like Cannes can't vet every single entry.

But what about just vetting the ones that are going to win a Lion?

All it would take would be a letter or email from the CEO or CMO of the client the ad was allegedly created for saying "yes, we ran this."

I can't imagine it would be that difficult to produce that sort of proof. And would certainly enhance the value of said Lions.

Anonymous said...

I think most of the Lion-winning work is client approved, Alan. It's just nod-and-wink, can-we-do-this-for-awards so it doesn't fuck up the usual crap you let us run, then you can win a few lions and say you approve award winning advertising*

*that runs once for awards you fucking coward.

Auge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I think the only responsible for all this is that fucker Sven Goran Ericksson. If he'd done his job properly we all would be caring fuck all about Cannes, awards and shit like that.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 2:08:

so what are you suggesting? jc penney should start running ads featuring teens participating in hot, sweaty three-ways? now that WOULD sell more clothes i'm sure. good idea.

and you can't REALLY think uk teens are sitting around knitting? awww, come on now.

come to think of it, i haven't seen any teen orgy ads running on the tele here either. so that MUST mean they aren't any happening. so i guess the brits aren't living in a "double moral culture" those hypocritical americans.

yeah. right.

Anonymous said...

"Advertisers steal work from struggling artists." So what? Nothing's original.

"Advertisers take advantage of free work placements." Yeah, life's tough. Grow up.

"Advertisers foster aggressive, every-man-for-himself cultures in their agencies." Yeah, well, if you can't stand the heat...

"Advertising awards don't have the most rigorous standards and sometimes agencies play the system." Yes! Absolute outrage! Something must be done!

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2.21. Word around NY is that it was produced after Granger left. Not according to this US blog. Gerry Graf seems to have no such scam rumours attached to his name. Let's hope he can do something to restor Saatchi's rep in NY. Granger did a load of harm for it ther and here in London

john dodds said...

If the industry continues to flaunt creative awards as "proof" of their talent, then the incentive to scam the awards system will only increase.

As a non agency reader, I wouldn't seek to deny the artistic excellence of some advertising but would argue that that is not its rationale.

Advertising exists to sell stuff and the only awards that should be relevant to clients and the industry are effectiveness awards that rigorously prove the effectiveness of your work.

Anonymous said...

awards matter to an extent. they get you some pr. and a big pile of awards on your shelf can intimidate the easily impressed/stupid. but that's it really.

it's squarely on the shoulders of the Cannes festival itself to police for scam entries. we all know what they look like: DPS for Matchbox cars etc. and anything from the former colonies (except USA) and south america deserves extra scrutiny because they are the worst culprits. just a fact and we all know it.

but why anyone would bother entering the Cannes print competition in the first place is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

except USA? Did you read the post at all, you moron?

Anonymous said...

4 observations: 1. The South African CD would say that wouldn't he? I guess we'll never know the truth. I hope he and his guys can still sleep at night. 2. The Alka Seltzer people, if guilty of scamming that ad, should be banned from next years Cannes. Come on Cannes organisers - do something to inject some integrity into your money grabbing enterprise. 3. The same ban should be applied to the JC Penney scammers. 4. And what the hell is JC Penney anyway? I'm sure Americans know but none of the ads that I've heard people raving over ever tell me what it is so how can it win international awards?

Anonymous said...

anonymous said...
except USA? Did you read the post at all, you moron?

Ha haaa thats GOLD..

In response to:

"but why anyone would bother entering the Cannes print competition in the first place is beyond me"

What a stupid comment! Perhaps try entering Cannes next year and see how you go in PRINT, then you might respect the category when you don't win a door stopper.


Anonymous said...

Don't call it Print, that's so tacky.
It's Design. According to Fallon anyway.

Anonymous said...

JC Penney is a department store that sells affordable clothing (and other stuff). the brand has been around for over 100 years...

Anonymous said...

what's it got to do with teenagers having a sneaky fuck?

Anonymous said...

Scam is cheating. Cheating against me and us everyone else you work with. If you work next to a person who has benefited in their career because of scam, that means they lied and stepped on someone else's back to be there, plain and simple, right?

Anonymous said...

anon 6:08,

the NY saatchi scam culture was started by Tony Granger, who is openly south african (a former colony) and most assuredly NOT an American. we don't go for the scam awards here so much. not sure why. maybe because we get to do real stuff as part of our job.

and i stand by what i said about the cannes press competition. ever been to cannes? nobody gives a rat's ass about it.

have to go polish my (non-print) cannes grand prix now.

Anonymous said...

And now of course the JC Penney ad has been removed from more or less everywhere. Keep checking bit torrent, it should be popping up there any moment now.

Anonymous said...

That Alka-Seltzer poster got removed because it never ran or whatever, fine.

But it's still an amazing piece of work, and personally i find it inspiring.

Say what you will about Thailand/Singapore, but those guys have raised the craft bar so very very high in print.

Anonymous said...

I've entered a few scam ads in Cannes, in D&AD, the clios and the One Show over the years. Won a few awards with them as well, which helped my career greatly.

And I don't give a fuck what anyone thinks of that.

I earn a shit load of money now, in a top London Agency.

Its only bloody advertising, and I frankly don't really like it. I just spend all day pretending that I love it.

And the idiots who employ me lap it up.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that.

*clinks champagne glass with Anon 7.45*

Anonymous said...

I heard that the Alka-Seltzer ad was about to be given the grand prix lion in press category. But then it was withdrawn by the international client.

Or maybe it's just a rumour...

Anonymous said...


what a waste of a life

on your death bed you can say "i made money and lived a lie"

i don't envy you.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon 7.45

The fact you're even on the internet at 7.45am is just sad.

Clearly no-one trying to keep you under the duvet in the morning. With that attitude, it's hardly surprising. Hope spanking the monkey makes you happy, as clearly nothing else does.
I'd rather get paid peanuts, love my job and walk around with a smile thanks all the same.

Anonymous said...

To whoever is in Venice, Juan Cabral is speaking today at communicating the museum.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of The Messiah what does everybody think about his new campaign?

Anonymous said...

Loved the 'Can I Play With Madness' thing, but this one is a bit shit. Not helped by the fact that I am watching a film showcasing HD on youtube.....

Anonymous said...

Hey scamp,

You are a CD at BBH???? Well, my partner and I are really looking for a change and wondering if you would check out our site... (don't wanna put it on a public blog domain)... so how could we send it to you...? Just feedback and advice would be great???

Scamp said...

Well, my e-mail address is simon dot veksner at bbh dot co dot uk. You could send it there.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 7.45...

I also work at one of the top agencies most people would give a left nut to be at. Even if they're women.

Our ECD doesn't even look at books with a scam ad in them, no matter how 'good' they are.

Hope your lack of integrity bites you on the ass during your next move. Maybe then you'll find a more suitable career.

Anonymous said...

re 5.29. and all the others.

As I said I don't care, really I don't.

People think I care a great deal about my work, I don't, never given a flying fuck about it. I pretend to sulk when an ad doesn't get bought. Pretend to agonize over who to shoot a new ad. Its just a game.

The sooner you get over it and stop giving a shit the easier life is.

I just wondered how this ECD of yours 'doesn't even look at books with scam ads in them'. Is he psychic?

Anonymous said...

uh, could this be an answer?
I was going to reply with the nastiest acid comment but then got surprised by this, and couldn't believe it.

I swear to God it's real.

Anonymous said...

If something looks scam, an assistant will call and find the media it ran in, etc. You can tell most scam, like almost everything in Cannes print this year was scam.

All that Lego shit that won last year. Matchbox. Sphere. Smith and Wesson in Germany. The list goes on and on. You would be amazed at some of the names who aren't even considered. But you'll never know.

That's a good thing too, because we hire real talent and our agency constantly wins for real work.

Anonymous said...

Our job is to have ideas, selling them is up to the account people.

I don't see why a CD would care if a book piece ran or not.

Maybe if he is retarded, but still...

And I bet that agency is WK.
(the place that can't make print for shit)

And to the Serpa guy:

What does that have to with anything?

Anonymous said...

doing scam ads is weak. that's the real problem.

it's an admission that you can't really do your job and you'd rather live in a fantasy land where you get patted on the back for doing nothing.

it's fine to put ideas in your book that never ran but illustrate your ability to think.

but you cross a line when you set out to fool the rest of the ad world that it really ran and was really approved by a client. that's at least two big lies. how many more will you tell?

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! You could end up lying to people for a living! How 'bout that?

Anonymous said...

good point previous anon. but you know what i mean.

there's spineless lying bastards and then there's spineless lying bastards YOU CAN RELY ON. big difference.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what agency you work at, but I've never been required to lie for my job. Good advertising isn't lying - it's taking the best attribute of a product or feature and presenting it in the best possible light in order to increase sales or awareness, which is what drives the world economy. I've never had a brief asking me to make something up. Nor have is anyone forced to work on crap brands that hurt people (eg; cigarettes, defense).

Making excuses for scam ads by saying 'well, we're all shit people anyway' is really sad. It sounds like you have bigger issues with yourself and probably should just leave the business, open a tea shop and paint.

Anonymous said...

i hate the Alka Seltzer campaign,soooooo boring.

Anonymous said...

All the exaggerating that advertising does is fucking lying.

We call it exaggerating to make it OK to lie.

Eating a bar of Dairy Milk does not give you the joy of that Gorilla, not by a long fucking shot.

A Sony TV is nothing like the amazement of balls bouncing down Frisco streets.

And you're not a fucking supercool outlaw for wearing 501's.

The whole thing is bullshit.

Stop being so naive and grow up, the lot of you.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:15 PM:

Pretending you're the only one who 'gets it' does not make you any more intelligent or cooler than anyone else.

Just because you're bitter, empty, and probably overpaid doesn't mean everybody in the industry also wants to screw people over to get ahead.

If you hate what you do for a living, then don't have to do it. I'm sure everyone you work with will be relieved to see you go.

Anonymous said...

Wow you really presumed a whole bunch of stuff I didn't even vaguely imply.

I don't hate it. I love the fun I have and the money I earn. And I'm neither bitter nor empty.

I just think it's disingenuous/thick to suggest that most of what our industry does is not paid mendacity.

Anonymous said...

yeah!? and what about the scammers who crit student books and then rinse them of their idea and then go win awards - bloody kiddy fiddlers!