Changes to awards programs should be viewed as positive

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 7 March 2018
Pippa Chambers

Adland is no stranger to highs and lows. As an industry it has been attacked and challenged - rightly and at times unjustifiably - from multifarious angles, technologies, people, boards and even governments.

Whether batting concerns away, sweeping under the carpet or accepting, fixing and reforming issues, people deal with such challenges in different ways.

Be it transparency in the supply chain, inequality and lack of diversity, below par parental leave, staff churn or talent woes, we face many real-time problems. Many of which have not been fully solved or are far off a satisfactory answer or level playing field. But, that is not for want of trying.

With great initiatives like The Agency Circle, improved education, help from industry bodies and greater accountability, there's a sense of more wind in the sails and a better direction ahead in shaping a better and fairer future across Australia's advertising, media and marketing landscape.

Many in the industry feel that some corners have been turned within the last two years, with adland waking up to its troubles and more seriously addressing them.

One such issue has been around awards and the validity of them.

Whether that be commentary on 'scam work' entries at Cannes Lions or the feeling of being engulfed with a thick smog of awards shows and events to attend, whispers pop up about the validity of awards from time to time.

While this is nothing new, what is new is the way that people are looking at approaching their awards to ensure they are just as relevant and that their value remains key.

Change is good

That is why AdNews tightened up its awards criteria this year and Cannes Lions overhauled its offering.

The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) board yesterday decided it was running an awards programme that didn't do the industry justice.

While revealing it has work to do on its awards, this shift, and changes others have made, need to be seen as a positive step, not another beat down on our sector.

If awards shows become tainted by the positive steps that are being made to improve them then this is a sad day.

Awards shows, such as the AdNews Agency of the Year Awards, the MFAs or Cannes Lions, are important for many reasons.

It's about recognising not just the hard work, but the truly great work and the great people and ideas behind this work.

Whether that is showcasing and proving effectiveness or demonstrating innovative thinking, the merit in awards shows can not be overlooked.

The people, the idea, the planning, the pitching, the pushing, the fighting, breaking boundaries and of course the end result – the work, effectiveness, its value and impact.

The incredible work and pursuit of excellence in our industry is something not just to be remembered, but it is to be celebrated and rewarded.

The continued strength of entries to our awards this year tells us the appetite is still very much there.

But while the appetite is there we want to ensure that the menu you are presented with is one you are entirely happy with. That is why after our awards, we'll be asking all our readers to complete an AdNews Survey, just as we did with the AdNews Reader Survey.

Our AdNews Reader Survey gave us a great indication of what we are doing well and what our readers want. We acted on areas that you wanted us to and as a result our digital traffic has never been higher, month after month, year after year.
This is to ensure that we not only continue to deliver the most valued awards show in the industry, but to demonstrate that you have a voice.

Change is good.

In fact change is great.

One thing that remains a constant and is part of the mantra that AdNews takes on, is the need for more positivity, constructive stories and lifting the industry up.

Awards shows do all these things, and more.

In addition to your feedback, in my new role starting later this month, now overseeing the magazine, I am also keen to hear about what more you may want from the magazine. Email me here and if you can't wait for the AdNews Awards Survey, reach out here.

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