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Scam ads for another agencies client wins awards - what would jesus do?

This ad, showing Jesus snapping a picture of a bunch of nuns with the Samsung SL310W camera, was published in Lebanese newspaper Al Mostakbal last week.

The ad has been called "an attack against Christian symbols", bound to happen as soon as Jesus is involved, but here's the kicker - the ad agency FP7 who created it, doesn't have the Samsung account.
Sunny Hwang, the president of Samsung Electronics Levant, said to Brandrepublic "At no time was Samsung Electronics aware of these advertisements and the company has not approved or commissioned FP7 to create any advertising campaigns. "

At the recent Dubai Lynx awards, FP7 picked up a gold, a few silvers and even the ad agency of the year award but after this little mishap, the agency (and their work) is being investigated by the award organisers and they might get stripped of all their honors.

At what point is it ever a good idea to create, and actually run campaigns for clients that you don't have? The spec turned ghost ad epidemic seems to be getting worse by the minute here - in some cases I understand how it happens. Say, for example, you have an idea approved by the local branch of a worldwide brand which gets nixed the moment the global director gets a whiff of it. Or, you were way too exited when you submitted spec work here that you forgot to tell us it was spec and the worlds adblogs operate under the assumption that it's real (please don't do that).

Seems to me that we're getting more and more cases of this, is it happening more often or does the collective hive mind of the web reveal them more often? Even Cannes is littered with ads that are ghosts these past few years, remember the Luxor hightlights campaign from Leo Burnett, even though it was Lowe's client. JC Penney never approved the dressing down ad which Saatchi NY won a Cannes Bronze Lion with, but at least in that case Saatchi did actually have the client. The balls of creating an ad for a competing agencies client and running with it, wow.

There are places you can show off spec work, for example the London International IDA, and new awards for work that dies on the foam core is popping up like mushrooms every day, even we have a spec work category here so we don't delete submissions, even when the client does a u-turn after you've spent a week on the shoot creating that great campaign.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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alex's picture

I can see this taking off in other areas, too. I'm about to release a single under the name of Pink Floyd. I think it might make me a few quid.
Incidentally, it's pretty hard to run a recruitment ad for a client you don't have, because the whole point of recruitment ads is to invite a direct response for a particular position. I image the client would be very pissed off if hundreds of people started phoning in about a job that didn't exists. I suppose you could run a straightforward awareness campaign though (not that I would).

Dellowe's picture

Dubai Lynx May Withdraw Ad Person of the Year Award

In a move that could rock the foundations of the Middle East advertising industry, Dubai Lynx is considering retracting its Advertising Person of the Year Award from Tanvir Kanji of Inca Tanvir, after receiving numerous complaints regarding irregularities.

This comes in the wake of a blog that appeared on the Internet recently, which claims Mr Kanji never ran but instead, casually walked towards the stage - and that the person who collected the gong might not have been real and may even have been a ghost.

Festival Director Steve Lane is conducting a thorough investigation. He said, “If we find evidence that the Mr Kanji we saw at Lynx broke our rules, then we will be left with no other option but to annul the award.”

Mr Kanji said in a statement, “I didn’t know anything about the nomination. Nobody asked for my approval and the image looks remarkably similar to an Advertising Person of the Year photo from 2008.”

Dabitch's picture

Wait, what!? - "and that the person who collected the gong might not have been real and may even have been a ghost." *Bwahahahaa*

(I'm loving this by the way)

Dabitch's picture

Might as well update the news while i' here; Agency Of The Year Award Withdrawn

The 2009 Dubai Lynx Agency of the Year award has been withdrawn from FP7 Doha. The trophy will subsequently now not be awarded this year.

Investigations after this year's Dubai Lynx Awards Ceremony revealed numerous examples of work from FP7 Doha that did not meet the Dubai Lynx entry criteria and subsequently, these 18 submissions and the associated seven awards have been withdrawn.

Those awards were as follows:

1 Gold Print campaign
1 Gold TV/Cinema campaign
3 Silver Print campaigns
1 Silver Outdoor campaign
1 Bronze TV/Cinema campaign

In addition, ten pieces which were shortlisted in the Print and Outdoor sections were also disqualified.

Philip Thomas, Dubai Lynx CEO said: "Even before the awards night, we had withdrawn a number of pieces of work from the competition but subsequently, our investigation has found other pieces that were presented to the jury that infringed our requirement that all work presented must represent the client who approved it. Our rules are very clear with regards to this and we have no hesitation in withdrawing these awards.

"The Dubai Lynx Awards exists to celebrate and raise the creative bar of genuine work of the region. Activities like this show a disregard, not only for the Awards, but more importantly for the juries who work so hard judging the event. Due to the scale of withdrawals we feel it inappropriate to honour FP7 Doha as Agency of the Year and so will be withdrawing the prize. I hope that this swift action makes clear our determination to build an award with true integrity for the region."

Details of the work in question are:

Print Gold campaign: A04/29 "Ink"
A04/30 "Oil"
A04/31 "Mud"
TV/Cinema Gold campaign: A12/2 "Car"
A12/3 "Cook"
A12/4 "Rocket"
Print Silver campaign: A04/13 "Nuns"
A04/14 "Students"
Print Silver campaign: A14/24 "Flying Bird"
A14/25 "Man Digging"
A14/26 "Running Horse"
Print Silver campaign: A05/52 "Cow"
A05/53 "Sheep"
A05/54 "Pig"
Outdoor Silver campaign: A04/25 "Cow"
A04/26 "Sheep"
A04/27 "Pig"
TV/Cinema Bronze: A07/11 "Jackson 7"

Dabitch's picture

"Heads will roll" ? Oh my.

The sad thing is that nobody else - competing with legit work - gets golds or silvers or agency of the year this year. In the end, it tarnishes the Lynx award too.

mrcoote321's picture

I totally agree with dabitch!

ramanuj_shastry's picture

Go dabitch go :)