Goafest 2014: Does Goafest need to bring back the Scam Committee?

By Saumya Tewari and Prachi Srivastava , afaqs!, Goa | In Advertising | May 30, 2014
The organisers uphold the selection process which has been thoroughly audited by KPMG this year.

Srinivasan K Swamy, chairman and managing director, R K Swamy BBDO and chairman, Goafest 2014

Srinivasan K Swamy

Pratap Bose

Ajay Chandwani

Arvind Sharma

I believe there is lot of media speculation on this topic. But, I ask, what exactly is a scam? Technically, if there's some work which gets done and is released with the approval of the client, then can we call it scam? Well, if the client says that whatever work is being awarded is something that has been approved by him/her, then it is not scam. The jury picks the best work - we only make sure that there is no scam here.

Pratap Bose, president, The Advertising Club and chairman, The Awards Governing Council

I will speak in context of the Media Abby because it is happening on the first day. Normally, we do not face any difficulty in the media category ever since we have had the Media Abby. I've been a judge in the category every year. I firmly believe that we have a very sought-after jury. These people head large agencies and hence shoulder a big responsibility. We never really had a problem, not even this year. We have a very rigorous process; if at all there was some issue with one or two entries, we back-checked them and they did not make it to the shortlist.

Ajay Chandwani, director, Percept/H and committee member, Goafest

I don't think bringing back the scam committee would bring a major difference as it had people from the industry only. The said committee used to work on the mantra that 'Have I seen it or not?' and that is also not the correct way of doing it because there are so many ads released all over the country. Most people across the country don't read more than two to three newspapers or magazines, let alone 15-20 of them.

We follow a better process now. All the shortlisted entries are forwarded to the auditors. If at all they are suspicious of anything, they make random calls, sometimes to everybody. There have been many cases where the client has not approved the submitted entry and in that case we have decided to withdraw it.

Arvind Sharma, president, Advertising Agencies Association of India and founding chairman, Goafest

We have auditors who are not from the industry but they do a very thorough job. If at all required, they call people and inquire if the entry is initiated and paid by them. I think it is a far more rigorous process than the jury itself. KPMG has been hired to audit the entries and the process was four to five weeks long. Rules, I believe, have always been clearly laid down and followed. We have got KPMG on board which has a great reputation in the industry. All entries across categories have gone through a thorough selection process which is absolutely fair and just.

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