It Costs Lots Of Money To Feed Oversized Egos

Ad Age reports that award-hungry agencies will spend $37 million this year entering Cannes, One Show, D&AD and The Andy’s. The magazine does not project how much more will be spent on the myriad of other shows.
The copy-heavy article attempts to explain why awards are important to agencies.

For some agencies, getting an award-winning rep is so important that compensation is tied to show performance. A goal at every DDB office, for instance, is to rank among the top three most creative shops in a given market.
Bob Scarpelli, chairman-chief creative officer of Omnicom Group’s DDB Worldwide, said, “I can tell you that our most award-winning agencies-Chicago, Sao Paulo, Paris, London and Canada-are usually our best performing offices.”

What’s missing from the award show frenzy in my mind, is the people’s choice model. Unless I’m applying for a job, I don’t care what some hungover creative directors think about my work. However, I do care what the intended audience thinks.

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. When we launched our direct marketing shop back in 1989, we had zero interest in winning awards, figuring they had absolutely nuthin’ to do with what really counted. But we figured wrong. Awards pump up client and agency people, and help attract clients who want to do kickass stuff.