Dr Mumbo

Naive, platitudinous and vulgar. Apart from that, how were the awards, Mr Postaer?

RSS is a wonderful thing. If you don’t already use it, it’s a very efficient way of staying up to date with what’s new on a long list of sites.

But their are perils for the unwary, which Euro RSCG Chicago creative honcho Steffan Postaer may not yet have discovered. Because if you regret saying something and change it on the web site, sometimes the outside world can still see it on your RSS feed.  

Take the (as it appears now, very short) piece he’s written for the AdFreak blog about his judging of the Dubai Lynx Awards in the Middle East. In the piece, he observes, mildly:

I assume they chose TV as the opening category because it is usually a crowd pleaser at advertising award shows.   The next category was Print & Posters…”

But the RSS feed tells a different, and rather more controversial, story from the only North American member of the panel:

I assume they chose TV as the opening category because it is usually a crowd pleaser at advertising award shows. Unfortunately, this was not the case in this contest. Of approximately 250 submitted campaigns, I saw, let me see, none that were worthy of a gold medal. Frankly, I didn’t see a commercial of merit in the lot.   Zero is an appalling number, I know. If the other judges view the work as I did, we will have a major controversy on our hands. I can’t imagine an award ceremony without any winners whatsoever. Chief judge Than Khai Meng has himself a conundrum: give prizes to the undeserving, or blank an entire region?   The work seemed naive by any standard. Primitive. Platitudinous. At times even vulgar. I saw no films that even made me smile. On the contrary, much of it evoked grimaces from our increasingly frustrated jury. Big clients like Coke and McDonald’s fared no better than local concerns. A lot of the content reminded me of clichés from the West, and from another era.”

The post also has a sign-off which didn’t appear in the original RSS message: “I’m learning that it’s unfair to assume that a Western standard for creativity exists in the Middle East. After all, we’ve been doing it longer and have far less restrictions.”

Dr Mumbo would love to hear some more about exactly what the learning process was. And we’ll find out on Thursday morning, Aussie time, just how many gold winners there were.



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