GSD+M GSD&M Launches Its Own Awards Show

When you want to belittle an institution it helps to be in said institution’s favor. Put another way, it’s one thing for GSD+M GSD&M to make fun of awards shows, the One Show in particular, and another entirely for a pencilless agency to do so.
Ladies and gentleman, without further ado…
The Juan Show

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Putney Swope says:

    No one there has ever won a pencil? Who’d have guessed. You must have worked there once to know that.

  2. I never worked there. I did go to a party there once during SXSW. Anyway, where did I say no one at GSD+M had won a pencil? My point is who better than an agency with a case full of pencils to make fun of The One Show?

  3. Carl LaFong says:

    Oh sure, they may make sport of the One Show. But I bet they spend the GNP of Bolivia on entries every year just like all the other lemmings — uh, I mean, agencies — out there.

  4. Putney Swope says:

    David Burn said:
    “Anyway, where did I say no one at GSD+M had won a pencil?”
    To refresh your short memory, you previously said, about GSD+M:
    “…a pencilless agency….”
    “Pencilless,” to me at least, means “without pencils,” which is to say, without One Show awards. Or perhaps you meant that everyone there writes with pens.

  5. Not sure why this is so confusing. I guess I need to be more clear.
    it’s one thing for GSD+M to make fun of awards shows, the One Show in particular, and another entirely for a pencilless agency to do so
    The pencilless agency is hypothetical. It’s not GSD+M.
    I’m saying it helps to have pencils and the credibility that comes with them, if you want to make fun of the whole thing. Without them, one’s criticism might be viewed as that of a bitter sideliner.

  6. Putney Swope says:

    Got it. I guess I was just in too much of a hurry to yank your chain a little to read your post carefully.
    And I agree with you about the bitter sideliner perception. Guys like Carl LaFong.

  7. I think it’s an ampersand, not a plus sign. GSD&M, not GSD+M.
    Juan pays attention to details.

  8. Carl LaFong says:

    Zounds, Putney Swope! Thou hast cut me to the quick with thy rapier-like wit! Feel better now, big man?
    Actually, Putney, I fully cop to being a “bitter sideliner” – although more sideliner than bitter. I’ve never won an award of any importance, never expect to and never care to.
    From the very beginning of my so-called career, I have specifically asked that the heads of the agencies where I have toiled NOT to enter my work because I don’t buy into the whole lemming-like award show mentality. (Not that I’m under any illusion that my stuff would sweep the shows.)
    I think it’s absurd the lengths to which people will degrade themselves just to win a shiny trinket. For proof, just check out the conversation raging on Ernie Schneck’s blog.
    Make no mistake: I admire a lot of the work that wins. But I don’t need to await the verdict of a small clique of creative directors to decide whether it’s good or not. I prefer to think for myself.
    But hey, Putney, if you need a phallic-shaped piece of metal to justify your existence, then by all means, go for it.

  9. Putney Swope says:

    Actually, Carl, I agree with you about advertising awards shows. Look at the Grand Prix winners who were soon after fired by clients because the work was winning awards, but not winning in the marketplace.
    I also get a kick out the scenario you described: a creative appraoching the ECD with “Please, God, whatever you do, DO NOT, under any circumstances, submit my work to an awards show.” You don’t see that happen every day.
    By the way, why did you assume I’m a male?

  10. Hey — I don’t take this as poking fun at the One show ONLY. I think it’s just joking around about the entire award show institution in general.
    GSDM has won many awards obviously they care.

  11. GSD&M, W+K, McKinney+Silver, Mc-J, t:m, Cole+Webber, CP+B…
    It doesn’t stop…

  12. Carl LaFong says:

    My asking not to have my work entered in award shows was hardly as melodramatic as you seem to think. I just asked my bosses not to — or, if they asked me if there was anything I thought was worth entering, I politely demurred. Simple as that. It didn’t involve any begging, pleading or wheedling on anyone’s part. They didn’t object — in part because, as I said earlier, it’s not like my stuff would have had much chance of winning in the first place.
    At the risk of flogging an already long dead horse, I just want to be clear on this: I am not bitter because I haven’t won any awards. It’s simply never been a priority to me. What I am bitter about is the hype, hubris and hypocrisy that award shows foster. Instead of being a celebration of creative excellence, they wind up feeding some already overstuffed egos.
    (By the way, Jon, I agree with you: GSD+M is clearly making sport about award shows in general, not just The One Show. The point of my original post was how they are trying to have their cake and eat it, too — trying to appear above the fray while entering every show in sight.)
    Given the seismic changes advertising is undergoing, award shows seem even more archaic than ever. Just look at the way they are struggling to “recognize” categories such as interactive, integrated, guerrilla, etc.
    It’s true I tend to rail against award shows a little too much, so I will do everyone a favor and shut up. Just one final point: Since the character Putney Swope from the Robert Downey movie of the same name was a guy, I assumed you were, too. If you are not, I sincerely apologize. Didn’t mean to pull a Neil French.