A principled view on creative awards

Creative Circle was last night, marking the start of the awards season.

Now, it’s fair to say that there are two camps, when it comes to industry prizes.

There are those who dismiss them as irrelevant symbols of self-aggrandisement, on the part of a shamefully narcissistic and pitifully needy sector.  This camp points to the money that is lavished on entries and dinners; the invidious growth of consultants; the arbitrary nature of league tables; the out-moded use of silo-specific categories; and the lack of connection, usually, with what actually works.

Then, in the opposite camp, there are those who praise them as valuable measures of success, in a world where creativity is more important than ever.  This side points to the power of awards to raise standards; to attract and retain talented people; to highlight great thinking from around the world; and ultimately to drive change.

So where do I stand in this debate?  Well, I have a very clear and principled take on this subject.  When I lose, I passionately agree with the former view.  And when I win, I wholeheartedly agree with the latter view.

Last night, at Creative Circle, we won our first ever award, for our first ever campaign (a Gold for Paddy Power).  So for now, gongs are great but I’m fully prepared for trophies to be trashy trinkets sometime soon…

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