RAZOR BRANDING BLOG: How Important are Advertising Awards to the Agencies?

How Important are Advertising Awards to the Agencies?

Before there were advertising awards, there were advertising agencies. In recent years though, these lines have blurred greatly, with agencies often placing more importance on the hardware they earn over the results they produce for their clients.

By the time the One Show accidentally emailed it's awards registration list to a few members of the media last week, (Ad Age, "Unwitting Email Reveals What Agencies Shell Out For Awards" Reg Req.) the advertising awards business had become a very big business on its own. Ad Age estimates that the One Show alone received about $10 million in entry fees last year. Apparently, there are some ad agencies that base their entire worth on the amount of awards they win.

Really, are you serious? Are there actually ad agencies that look at the subjective opinions of a few judges to determine the quality of their work. The importance of these awards can be summed up by the CEO of the company with the largest number of entries in this year's One Show.

As BBDO Worldwide President-CEO Andrew Robertson is quoted in Ad Age "Awards matter," he said. "They are how we measure the quality of our work against that of our competitors. BBDO aims to be the most awarded network of the year, every year. We have 287 offices trying to win awards every year. We are in them to win them."
Are clients actually motivated by the awards that their agencies win? Would you hire an agency based on that criteria? And if so, why? Does an award given from one advertising colleague to another mean they will produce better results for you? That their message will resonate with your target audience?

And while we are on the subject, how in the world can agencies justify laying off employees and then spending $10 million dollars to win a plaque? Where are their priorities?

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner
The Russo Group

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