Following the fiasco of last two-three years, Creative Abby 2011 witnessed one of the toughest judging processes to ensure fair play and a good awards show. In the big scene, orchestrated by Awards Governing Council (AGC) Chairperson, Shashi Sinha, who is also CEO, Lodestar UM, auditor KPMG had a very key role to play.
Right from the round one of judging, KPMG was checking and cross-checking that entries sent were genuine and credited accurately. In the process, a clear message had gone out to the industry that the AGC was not shy in employing any means required to clean up Creative Abby.
Speaking on the auditor’s experience, in a conversation with exchange4media, Shashank B Karnad, Executive Director-Advisory Forensic Services, KPMG, divulged the whole process and the client feedback that KPMG received.
One part of the key process was creating forms that did not allow any self-voting. Karnad said, “We had a simple excel spreadsheet that blocked all entries of the jury member’s agency, for him. It just kept things simple.”
On connecting with the clients, he said, “We had all kinds of experiences with the clients in the course of verifying the authenticity of entries. We had some cases, where clients confirmed that the work was done for them by that agency, and we included that work in the awards. But we also had cases where clients pointed out that the work was not done on their behalf and then we did what was required. The point here is that this process has worked well. We gave it ability to go back to clients, and hence allow a fair process on the whole.”
In some cases KPMG officials went and checked with the clients, in other cases, they sent an email for the work that was done with the jpeg image of the exact work that was winning the award. Karnad explained that in round one, KPMG could not do this for everybody as there were numerous entries, so a random pick of clients was done. He added, “This spread the message that KPMG was doing checks, and in fact, we had begun to see some withdrawals at the first stage itself.”
As is known, at the Creative Abby this year, several entries were withdrawn at various stages.