Token participation & not winning adequately also reflects poorly on agencies: S Swamy

The Chairman, Goafest Organising Committee speaks on the conspicuous absence of the top three agencies from Goafest this year; Leo Burnett & CreativeLand Asia staying away doesn't help either

e4m by Priyanka Mehra
Updated: Apr 24, 2014 9:35 AM
Token participation & not winning adequately also reflects poorly on agencies: S Swamy

Participation of agencies for Goafest 2014 has been a question mark, given the disappointment over last year’s festival.

As reported by exchange4media yesterday, McCann Erickson has decided not to send entries to Goafest this year, Prasoon Joshi, Executive Chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup India and President, South Asia has confirmed. Leo Burnett, Lowe Lintas (the agency has skipped Goafest for many years now) and Ogilvy (for the first time in the history of the Abbys, Ogilvy was conspicuous with its absence last year) are the other agencies that have decided to stay away from Goafest this year.

Sajan Raj Kurup has also made it clear to exchange4media that CreativeLand Asia will not participate in Goafest this year.  ( We will wait out this year to see what course Goafest takes: Sajan Raj Kurup ).

“One, of course, is due to the disappointment with some agencies on how the awards were withdrawn and reinstated, leading to unfortunate backlash in other award shows. Further, this also embarrassed the people with their international counterparts when they had to offer some explanation. A few agencies have decided to wait out a year to see how the awards show gets handled. The other reason is that there are just not enough ‘good’ work for them to enter. Token participation and not winning adequately also reflects poorly. A few, therefore, will stay away on this score,” said Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman, Goafest Organising Committee, while speaking on the reasons for agencies abstaining from sending entries to Gaofest this year.

Mindful of last year’s events, the Goafest Committee has made changes in the judging process this year, there will now be a window of clear 10 days before the final judging round. During this window, shortlisted entries will be available for the entire industry to review.

McCann Erickson’s decision not to send entries will be very conspicuous this year, keeping in mind that the agency has been doing remarkably well at numerous other award festivals such as D&AD and One Show.

“As they say, the show must go on. There are many other agencies participating in good measure and they will have many reasons to celebrate. And their winning should not be viewed as won with less competition. In a race, the winners are picked from the runners. And I can assure you there are many strong ones in the field,” Swamy added.

“The good thing is that almost all the agencies that are not entering their works, will be taking part in the event. They recognise this as an industry initiative and would like to support it at least by being there. Goafest has many interesting elements added this year and the awards are only one of the many elements. Actually, there is something interesting in it for various constituents, as one would discover there,” concluded Swamy on an optimistic note.

However, the absence of some of the leading agencies will certainly stand out at this year’s Goafest.

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