Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In My Day, There Were Rules For Scam

You had to at least get the Client's approval.

Last year's Cannes saw a new low, where a TV ad for JCPenney won a Bronze Lion... until it turned out that JCPenney had no knowledge of it.

But today comes a new new low.

An Agency called FP7 in Doha created this ad for Samsung, which ran in Lebanon.


Not only did they not get the Client's approval... it isn't even their client!

Sunny Hwang, the president of Samsung Electronics Levant, said: "At no time was Samsung Electronics aware of these advertisements and the company has not approved or commissioned FP7 to create any advertising campaigns."

Full story here.

What next? Can I just mock up an Economist poster, slap it on a wall, and enter it for awards?

Fancy working on Nike? Or Honda? Don't bother getting a job at W&K. Just shoot an ad and send it out to the newspapers.

Someone needs to do something.

P.S. For tomorrow I'm going to try to get an interview with an ECD from Asia - the epicentre of scam - and hear their side of the story.

P.P.S. Thanks to Antony Mouse for drawing my attention to this unholy outbreak of wickedness

77 comments:

Anonymous said...

How did they think Samsung wouldn't find out? Idiots! Scam is so rife in Latin America, the Far East (especially China and Malaysia now), India and now it seems the Middle east. I'd name names but Scamp would just remove them

Anonymous said...

It's a complete piss take.

Whenever I'm in a good mood and I really want to wind myself up, you know, really get the old red mist pumping around my head, I visit adsoftheword.com.

Fucking hilarious.

50 ads must get added a day. 49 of which are scam. Such bad scam. They're not even photoshopped properly.

I hope Samsung take legal action against the agency and make an example of them.

You're right Scamp. This has to stop.


Actually, you know what? I'm going to photocopy my cock and stick it on the site. Maybe I'll use it for Pentax zoom lens cameras or something, use some bullshit generic line (to be in keeping with everything else on there) about it making everything look bigger.

I bet nobody batters a fucking eyelid.

Anonymous said...

What does the endline actually say on the Samsung ad anyway?

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea.

Lets set up our very own agency: Sanderman Collit Anderson and Matthews.

Dig out your bottom drawers people and start laying out those spec ads. Lets submit all these ideas to Canne, the Dubai festival, adsoftheword.com etc.

Lets make this agency the Mecca of creative output across the world. All without asking anybody for permission.

Anonymous said...

FP7 Doh!

Anonymous said...

scam ads make awards such an unlevel playing field. we work out socks off all year to get something decent out and then it get trumped by some shit scam ad from asia/south america. wrong wrong wrong.

Anonymous said...

thank god for the chip shop awards eh?
you should tell them to enter it into that under the invent your own category bit ....




anon oop north

Anonymous said...

Everything about advertising has turned into a pile of shit. Everything.

Party's Over.

Scamwise Gamgee said...

Waaah Waaah Waaah. Get a proper job if you want to do real work.

We work in an industry based on bullshit and deceit so what's your beef?

I've met quite a few creatives who couldn't come up with a decent idea scam or not.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is the first time a scam ad has been made for a client that didn't know about it by an agency that has nothing to do with the client.

By the way, what's the idea in the ad? Too small for my eyes to see.

Scamp said...

The line is apparently "New Samsung [model number]. With anti blink feature."

Anonymous said...

already generating discussion on the other side of the world - isn't that a victory of sorts regardless of the politics?

Anonymous said...

anti-blink feature? Jesus?
I don't even get that. How did it win an award anyway?

Anonymous said...

I think we're all missing the point here guys.

There's a camera out there that can stop people blinking!

The future is NOW

Antony Mouse said...

Do I get a shout-out for highlighting the article via your comments?

"Antony Mouse said...
For those of you who were complaining about scam ads at award ceremonies, you may enjoy reading this:

http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/news/894886/Agency-forced-apologise-Jesus-ad-scandal/

5:58 PM"

I know how Samsung feel now...Not that you'll publish this comment, probably.

Cheers,
Antony.

Anonymous said...

do nuns blink a lot? huh? jesus is taking there
picture right, and it's anti blink? i don't get it.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed with the amount of advertising Amnesty and Greenpeace seem to be doing in Asia. And mostly DPS in mags.

In Asia scam (or ghost or whatever the fuck you want to call it) is completely out of control - and it just seems to keep getting awarded. I am amazed when I see any work in Campaign Brief Asia that appears to be actual, real, stuff that may have actually ran. CB Asia and their league table approach to 'creativity' has a lot to answer for.

Scamp said...

Antony, you are right, I apologise, I should have given you the shout-out. I'll go back and add one in now.

Antony Mouse said...

Cheers Scamp.

My faith in the world is restored (but not in scam ads, mind.)

Anonymous said...

How many Matchbox or Hotwheels DPS's and posters do you think there'll be this year at Cannes?

Anonymous said...

well done anthony, you read something on the internet before ANYONE else!

Anonymous said...

Lurzers Archive is a veritable yellow pages of scam ads. And why do they always have identical art direction, full bleed, full colour image, dps with tiny logo in bottom right. Always the same.
Have a look through the last couple of Archives and see for yourself. It's very disturbing.

Antony Mouse said...

RE: 3.56.

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Cannes, how many people that frequent the South of France in June are not going this year?

I've been going for a few years, but the company I work for decided that it would be inappropriate to attend in 2009. With so many great people out of work, it seems that throwing cash around as if it were Monopoly money would be sending the wrong message.

Any views? Perhaps a poll Scamp?

Stan Darsh said...

As someone who doesn't work in advertising boo-fucking-hoo that you guys don't win awards for your hard work making people buy things because amateurs/charlatans are able to write better straplines and capture more amusing concepts. Of course it's illegal, and I'm sure if the publicity bothers Samsung they'll pursue these guys, but the only problem advertisers ought have is that people who are not them are coming up with campaigns that are more critically acclaimed.

Of course, the coincidence here is that this particular ad is shit, so now I don't know what to think.

Paul said...

The WWF has got to be up there as the most scammed client. How many WWF campaigns win at Cannes every year. Enough is enough. Even if some rare rhinos and some cute rain forest creatures have to die as a result

Schmeeboo said...

More here:

http://bloganubis.com/2009/03/21/enough-is-enough/

Anonymous said...

I work for DDB. Just discovered we've never actually had the VW account for fuck's sake!

El Mariachi said...

FP7 Doha is an agency built around scam ads. They get their money from the rest of the network that is known for their rubbish advertising. They have a dedicated team for 'award work'. Last year they picked up 13 Cannes shortlists/bronze. Its a trend that's growing in the Middle East.

I also worked at a London-based agency's office in Dubai and there was a team that had the management's backing to spend about 80% of their time doing scam.

Of course the rest of us were left with the real work.

Funny enough, that team got a big job in the Far East now!!

Anonymous said...

re: 4.27

If you don't work in advertising why on earth are you spending time at this blog? You saddo.
Go and find big titty wankathon sites like any normal person.

Anonymous said...

i heard 1 team who actually invented their client, set up its business, ran the ads and then won cannes. fucking pirates!

Anonymous said...

I concurr 4:04 PM. Lurzers Archive has killed of what quality was left in german advertising. Go have a look at the top german ad agencies, 99% of their work is scam and the 1% of the real world work they do just blows. Last time I heard, one of the "best agencies" is actually a money laundery for some government real estate deals. And yes, I am planning my escape.

Anonymous said...

Scamp,
Whatever happened with the Chip Shop Awards?
Did they go ahead? If scam work is going to go on its good if it has its own place. Doesn't look like the sites been updated for a while.

Scamp said...

The Chip Shop Awards are alive & kicking. Apparently they had 300 entries, which is not bad. Results are out in June.

Scamp said...

And at least they admit it's all scam.

Paul said...

300 entries for the chip shop awards? In any year that's a ridiculous waste of money spent chasing after the most pointless awards scam ever invented. But in this year, when people are losing jobs left right and centre, any agency spunking money on them should be fucking ashamed

Paul Sacks said...

Shit me the awards system is bunkum. I thought the great thing about being a creative was that we know what to do to get a pay rise. Win awards.

Also, as a young hip person the name SCAM is a bit shit. Can't we coin a new phase for it. Something British and good. After all it seems us Brit's have discovered it.

Skitters, Sket, Sacks or Skat Queens perhaps?

PeteR said...

Duhuh Dohah

Anonymous said...

i think if you have do a little digging you'll see FP7 Doha picked up 6 GOLD LIONS last year, all of them on rather dubious 'clients'...

Anonymous said...

Scamp, why don't you just walk down the corridor and speak with Sir John. He was jury president at AdFest in Asia a two weeks ago.

The Campaign Brief Asia website ran a story on his view of scam: http://www.campaignbrief.com/asia/2009/03/sir-john-hegarty-hopes-to-be-s.html

Judging by the AdFest winners seen on the site a lot of scam got through: http://www.campaignbrief.com/asia/

By the way 3.30pm, Campaign Brief Asia is a fucking good trade mag. Don't blame them for scams. Blame the CDs that sit on Cannes, Clio, One Show juries and hand out awards to scams.

j said...

let's get some perspective. all creatives do or did think about scams at some point of their career because of the nature of the industry... We want to win and be better than our peers...

although some agencies take the piss by 'inventing' clients/products.

The reality is most of us over in the UK has our hands full with normal day to day work so we try to make it as creative/respectable as possible.

If I have time on my hand I would be off doing that WWF ad that's always in my bottom drawer.

And also, normal day to day advertising anywhere else outside the UK (maybe sometimes Europe) is fucking dreadful. You need to be on a drip to go to work.

And the money men/MDs/chairman of the asian syndicate of a global agency needs to account to their HQ as to what they have been up to. Imagine showing them a revlon/car insurance ad.

I've sat into one of those annual mega retreat where the heads of each regional office meet up to showcase what they have been up to. The ECD or chief creative officer tore into a poor regional ECD for presenting some their bread and butter work.

So who's to blame?

Anonymous said...

I just saw someone from my agency who is going to submit something to Cannes. Complete scam and what's even worse... they made up they're own 'results' for it as well. (Something along the lines of: 20% more sales blah)

Anonymous said...

well, Cannes earns its money from scam ads. so it's not likely that they'll do anything about it.

but...

let the future jury members read this and prevent it's even shortlisted.
let the agency enter 100 works in Cannes, win nothing but laughs of the industry and go bankrupt.

NDubz said...

Do they have a website?
Do they showcase this award winning work?
Are they proudly displaying these masterpieces in the digital hemisphere?
Can I have a Dubai Lynx if I ask nicely?

Come on Scamp, get on the blower. Get the CD to defend his company's output. I believe his name is Fadi Yaish. Lets hear what he has to say.

]-[appy Thought said...

Damn, hoping this was an April fool

Anonymous said...

what the defines scam?
Creative that was never published.
Creative that was published but not for one of your clients.
Creative that was published for one of your clients but the agency paid for it.

I can think of a few london agencies who are guilty of the later. Heard JWT recently paid for a billboard for one of their clients but only put it up for a day. Thought it was a bit cheeky. Scam isn't restricted to the middle/far east.

john w. said...

Scam today, scram tomorrow. Maybe the future is
'Two nobodies from nowhere' crafting the winning Super Bowl ad?
It wasn't just the Arizona Cardinals who met their match in the Super Bowl — so did Madison Avenue.
And it could be a game-changer. For the first time, it wasn't an ad agency that created the best-liked Super Bowl commercial. It was two unemployed brothers from Batesville, Ind., whose ad for Doritos — created for an online contest for amateurs — won them $1 million from Doritos maker Frito-Lay, and leaves ad pros with a lot of 'splaining to do.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UukD_cIw08E

Anonymous said...

it wasn't that much to enter the chip shop - i got my agency to spunk out twice for my pointless crap. maybe they felt like it was a nice thing to do for me considering the day to day wazzo stuff that i have to dredge through to keep making this place money...


anon oop north

Ben said...

That ad is Uberwank. I don't get it.

If you're going to scam, do it with an ad people can understand.

I think this will continue until there are some consequences. Unless this agency and others get banned, it'll just happen again and again.

But who cares? It's a bloody advertising awards show run by desperate money grabbing sausages. It's not important like Jade Goody's last words.

simon said...

Awards are to creatives what bonuses are to bankers.

Which is why they have all been corrupted. When have you sat on a jury that is not prejudiced to some degree.

This is just the logical conclusion

Stan Darsh said...

Anonymous - 5:40 PM

Thanks for the tip. I've got to find something to do with 15 minutes of erectile down-time after a visit to those sites. I suppose I could always make some scam ads instead.

Anonymous said...

For all those who didn't get the ad, i think they were trying to imply that the nuns would be so shocked to see jesus that they would be blinking alot to make sure it was really happening...

yep still pointless.

Jonesy said...

Hi j (3.45am )

As a creative who has worked in the far east (Malaysia & Singapore) for a couple of years before coming back home I think you've hit on a few truths there.

Let me assure you that the teams over there also have their hands full with their 'normal day to day work' and they are just as focused on getting great stuff out on the proper briefs as we are over here.

The difference is that scams (or ‘initiative work’ as most of the ECD’s prefer to term it) are actively encouraged.

A normal work day will finish around 8.30pm, you’d grab something quick for dinner and then it’s back to the office for ideas until just before midnight. 5 days a week. That’s just the way it works.

Obviously, you’d try to come up with something for a live brief or a brand that’s actually on your agency roster.

However, the pressure from your ECD, his regional CD and the network’s big swinging creative cock in New York or London combined with low calibre local and regional clients means that you really have to put ethics to one side if you want to progress.

It’s not unusual for a team to come up with a decent idea first, before the ECD decides which client they need to approach to get it to run.

I’m certainly not saying is right – and there are a number of agencies over in Malaysia and Singapore who have made significant steps in the right direction, rightfully picking up awards for real work.

Some of the local award shows have also made it a point to weed out the dodgy work that only ran on the walls of the agency’s toilets.

The hard truth is that the legacy of people like Neil French means that many creatives have had to swallow the fact that they might need to sell a little piece of their integrity in order to gain some recognition.

Which fucks it up royally for all of us, east and west.

Anonymous said...

9.32
There' a massive difference between JWT seeing an opportunity for their client and making it happen and this scam shite. I have more respect for creatives who get stuff shot and run for free, for clients they work for, than I do for creatives who sit on their arses waiting for a Honda/Harvey Nicks/VW brief they're never going to get. It's what happens when you've got a good relationship with a client and they appreciate all the crap you've had to do for them.

Anonymous said...

11:51, my take on the ads was the opposite of yours. I think this ad is saying that the nuns would be so fixated on Jesus that they wouldn't blink. Their eyes are locked open in a shocked gaze. The same goes for the students and the sexy teacher. The people in the photos are so focussed that they don't blink.

Integral oop North said...

@anon oop North.

Any copywriter jobs going at your place by any chance?

Anonymous said...

A bit of a leap...of faith? chuckle chuckle

Anonymous said...

Scamp. You remember the poster site in the car park at Charlotte Street, right? Now who still believes that its only purpose was to show clients what their ad would look like?

Scamp said...

Quite so, 4.43. Many an awards annual is graced by a brilliant poster in situ in that very car-park. Happy days.

Anonymous said...

There is no excuse for it. It is undoubtedly wrong...

and yet, part of me smiles inside.
Some lucky bastard, somewhere, at lucky bastard o'clock made an ad that wasnt tptally arse raped by the client.

Anonymous said...

You can buy a full page distress space ad in a local paper in Australia for 500 quid, run an ad once and enter it for any award you like. DDB over here got found out for running ads as small space and then submitting them as full-page. The agency model - especially in the regions - is to service regular clients with regular creative and the scam as much as you can for charities and NGOs.

Anonymous said...

if i'm a client reading this i'd be thinking - so i can get the "best" work by just PRing the fact that i will pay the award entry fees - sounds alright - i'll get rid of my expensive agency and all the dicking about with account handlers and planners and all that shit...

Anonymous said...

Cannes had to act quickly I suppose.
http://www.campaignbrief.com/asia/2009/04/dubai-lynx-withdraws-agency-of.html

Anonymous said...

re: 11.51am.

I thought that was what the ad was about, but
then I thought, no surely not - that would be fucking shit

Anonymous said...

have all of you noticed what the first four letters in scamps name are?

Thnik about it people...

GOUT-LEGS said...

well done Sherlock.
When creating a student book, your work is called scamp.
You should get a pencil for that.

On another note, I know alot of creative directors in the far and middle east. They're all quite open about their shit being bullshit. But, it wins them clients. It's like the Asian aar.

Anonymous said...

From looking at just the home page of CB Asia (campaignbrief.com/asia) Apart from Earth Hour and the Lynx scam, this is the only work shown.

Amazing.

http://www.campaignbrief.com/asia/2009/04/seennoted-bajaj-clears-away-sm.html

http://www.campaignbrief.com/asia/2009/03/adfest-highlight-nikon-face-de.html

http://www.campaignbrief.com/asia/2009/03/seennoted-nonslip-floors.html

Terry Nicholson said...

If you look at Adsoftheworld, you'll notice that most of the time a campaign is made of entirely the same ad. I teach my students the first rule is not to make 3 identical ads. Its boring.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about this 'Asia as the epicenter of scam' stuff. For years Latin American agencies got away with 'translating the copy into English.' They also translated font sizes, copy, and logos... until it all looked nice and tidy. The interesting thing about the Dubai Lynx thing is that they didn't even try to bend the rules, they just ignored them altogether.

Anonymous said...

@ Integral oop North _ couldn't possibly comment on that.

wish there was an AD job going though ; )

Anonymous said...

www.givemeanidea.com

Fionn G said...

The ad is crap why try and focus on it / work it out.

Scam exists, lawyers time sheets exist, even WWF exaggerate statistics, bankers rightly noted - extend truths for bonuses. Its just the way it is.

However a complete lack of respect and regard for clients and judges and what awards represent was evident in the Dubai Lynx case.

As it was in the financial collapse around the world in the case of finance.

Bend the rules, but don't ever totlly disregrd them.


At least have them as a client or have their approval.

Anonymous said...

Talking of ads just for awards anyone seen David Reviews home page today for a prime example from CHI?

Anonymous said...

Sadly they've ruined it for the rest of us. A lot of agencies do spec/proactive work for their OWN clients and enter it ALONG WITH real their real paid work iinto the award shows but at least it is for their own clients. It's somewhat palatable then. However if the agency's entire body of award work is scam, that is very sad and wrong and it isn't fair for the rest of the creatives of the world who do proactive work for their own clients. This sort of shit makes clients very dubious of agencies and then they refuse to run a proactive piece for awards at all. The truth is a lot of clients also want to be famous with awards but given the amount of press this catastrophe has received, even the adventurous clients will start to play it safe. And that is the beginning of the end for creativity.

Anonymous said...

If you check out brandrepublic today it turns out one of the awards has already caught up with FP7 http://www.brandrepublic.com/news/895826/

Anonymous said...

Hi guys, am from Asia. Read your remarks. Actually the situaltion over here is not far off from you guys "bending" rules a little, like AMV with Harvey Nicols or your VW DDB story or your chip shop ads. Its just blown out of proportion by the media and gossip threads.

Anonymous said...

75% of cannes-winning print and outdoor ads are likely fakes. Maybe 50% of tv and online too nowadays.

It's a huge issue that I wish the industry would take seriously. Unfortunately, so many judges have exploited the system themselves to climb over their peers to get to that place. Cheaters reward cheaters.

Everyone knows what scam is. There's the real world job that we do, and then there's creative experimentation.

Creative experimentation is fine, and spec work should be encouraged. Proactive work is fine too IF you actually sell it and run it in real, paid media. ...but in professional award shows, we should only award creative work that has really run, for a real client.

That's what makes them professional. And that's what makes them ethical, in regards to your peers. Meaning us. If you cheat in professional awards shows, you're cheating - basically getting ahead at everyone else's expense - to get ahead of everyone else. So that's why I hate scam.

The unfortunate truth is, people are sometimes hired off of awards. So you're possibly getting a job a better, more ethical creative would have gotten - based on lies.

If so, I wouldn't ever want to work with you, and I can't understand why anyone else would either.