Q&A with Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas
Scam ads (#scamvertising) is advertising made only for the purpose of winning awards, not because of sound commercial and business reasons. Some dodgy advertising agencies create scam ads to elevate themselves to the level of "award-winning", ironically for their own commercial and business reasons. Clients love agencies that have won awards — any awards — so business rolls in after the award show hangovers have passed.
But what happens when the scam goes bust?
According to Philip Thomas, Chief Executive of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Cannes Lion awards are incredibly important to agencies and marketers. "It means business, talent ... it's the way of measuring quality in creativity. That’s why we are growing so fast, clients value Lions."
Because of the importance of winning legitimate awards, Thomas says they have seen a significant reduction in scam ads being entered into the Cannes Lions over the last seven years: "Clients are less likely to enter scam ads because they are not interested in scam ads. They are interested in solutions to their problems."
In light of the recent #scamvertising scandal involving the Loerie Awards in South Africa, I conducted a question and answer session with Thomas, to get the Cannes Lions view on scam ads.