Even as the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and the Advertising Club Bombay come together once again for India’s biggest advertising festival, quite a few changes will be seen at GoaFest 2011. To be held in Goa from April 5-9, the sixth edition of GoaFest will take place over five days this year.
In a bid to address the controversies surrounding the Abby Awards, the GoaFest Committee has created a special Awards Governing Council (AGC) to manage the media and creative Abbys. The AGC is chaired by Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar UM India. The Council comprises nine members: AAAI President Nagesh Alai, Times Group’s Dr Bhaskar Das (President – Ad Club Bombay), Percept’s Ajay Chandwani, Aditya Birla Group’s Ajay Kakar, Leo Burnett India’s Arvind Sharma, RK Swamy Group’s Srinivasan Sundar Swamy, Euro RSCG’s Suman Srivastava and Times Television Network’s Sunil Lulla.
The Media Abbys will be lead by R Gowthaman, Leader, Mindshare South Asia.
Keeping in mind the questions that have been raised over the judging process of the Creative Abbys, the AGC has revised the judging rounds. This year, there will be two rounds of judging. The first round will be held in Mumbai, which will decide the shortlisted entries, while the second round will be held in Goa and will decide on the final winners. However, Shashi Sinha said that it was not yet decided whether the second round of judging would take place on the same day of the Creative Abby awards ceremony day or before that.
Giving the reason for the change in the judging process, Sinha explained, “The issue is not about the process, but the execution of the process. Our efforts are to bring that credibility back in the Awards.”
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the AGC had met with 15 creative directors on February 10, 2011, where they proposed the new judging process. Sinha mentioned that the feedback from the meeting had been good and now the decision was to be taken by the AGC to take the new process ahead. He, however, refused to divulge further details, stating that it was still in the initial stages.
It is also believed that the Council plans to continue with the close judging process this year as well, but this is yet to be decided as it awaits approval of other members of the AGC and the GoaFest Committee. Meanwhile, as far the auditors for the judging are concerned, Ernst & Young may not be a part of this year’s GoaFest. However, no final decision has been taken on this yet.
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