Goafest has had its supporters and its detractors. BrandWagon talks to Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT, who is also the chairman of Goafest. Also, the views of two agency heads —Mahesh Chauhan of Rediffusion Y&R which has been a regular participant at the award shows and Charles Cadell of Lowe Lintas India which has preferred not to enter its work for the awards. Edited excerpts:
FACE OFF Colvyn Harris, Chairman, Goafest
“We want to stay away from tallying the metals” What’s new and different this year?
Firstly, thematically it’s different. We are going to evaluate what we are calling ‘survival of the freshest’. We are expecting the number of entries as well as delegates to go up considerably this year. We have some excellent international speakers who will be moderating seminars. Then we have the two award shows.
Do you plan to invite international entries for the awards?
I am not ruling out the possibility. Maybe, in future, that will happen.
But our primary mandate was to establish Goafest as a property. We wanted to acknowledge advertising work that has been done within the country.
How do you plan to bring those agencies who have kept away?
The issue is a non-issue in my mind. If an agency says it doesn’t have good work, that becomes the main reason why it does not want to enter. And we should be fine with it. If you look at Cannes Lions, many agencies don’t enter. However, what’s happens is the people in those agencies don’t get to benchmark their work. They don’t get the recognition. They don’t create the positive competitive energy.
Lowe Lintas is not participating because of scam ads. Your comments.
You know, we evaluate scam on one parameter. It should be released. It should carry a letter from the client. As long as agencies fulfill the criteria, it is not scam. It is an age-old debate. We do not encourage it. We do not wish that scam work is entered.
Do you plan to include the ‘agency of the year award’ anytime soon?
We start the process every year by inviting the heads of the agencies to debate that. Everybody