Deadlines are looming for entries to local advertising awards shows ahead of Creative Week in Cape Town in August. But, once again, the Pendorings will not be endorsed by Creative Circle. Why not? TheMediaOnline investigates.
Franette Klerck, general manager of the Pendorings, speaks passionately about how the awards have evolved over the past few years. Initially set up, 19 years ago, to promote Afrikaans advertising, it now boasts a diverse audience and an award for the best truly South African advert, in any language.
This is one of the reasons why she believes it deserves to be endorsed by
Creative Circle, a trade body representing senior creatives in the advertising industry. Creative Circle is responsible for releasing rankings of South African agencies, based on how many awards the agencies won in specific competitions.
For Pendorings, the problem is that Creative Circle does not recognise its awards when it does the rankings.
“It’s not an Afrikaans award show anymore, it has changed,” says Klerck.
“It was initially started to look after Afrikaans as a languge in advertising, but it has changed — and the changes are increasing every year.
“In the ad industry it is not perceived as an Afrikaans awards show anymore. They know it’s the awards for the vernacular language in our country.”
But Chris Gotz, chairman of Creative Circle, tends to disagree.
Regardless of its truly South African award, he insists the competition remains mainly for Afrikaans advertising.
“If you look at how they have marketed themselves, it is largely to support the use of Afrikaans in advertising as a medium.”
He says the matter of Creative Circle endorsing the Pendorings has come up in the past and has been discussed by its executive committee.
“Certainly, one or two black members of Creative Circle took offense to the fact that we would support a single-language show.”
Klerck offers many arguments in favour of the Pendorings being endorsed by Creative Circle, including that it has won credibility within the local industry.
“Maybe, a few years ago it was politically incorrect [for Creative Circle to endorse the Pendorings], but I think the perception in the industry has changed.”
To prove her point, Klerck quotes from Herman Manson’s MarkLives.com blog, who wrote last year: “It [the Pendorings] has secured credibility in the industry in spite of the Creative Circle refusing to let winning work count towards its point system, which in turn discourages agencies from entering the Pendorings.
“It’s important this oversight be corrected urgently and Creative Circle Chair Chris Gotz has indicated that he would be willing to engage on the matter,” wrote Manson.
When it does its rankings, Creative Circle takes four international awards into account, and three local awards: the Loeries, the Eagles and its own Ad of the Year.
Klerck says she understands that the Loeries be counted, but points out that the Eagles are also specialist awards (only for print), so why is the Eagles being counted by Creative Circle, but not a specialist language award show?
Also, she argues that the Pendorings have a high number of entries, while she suspects the Eagles do not attract as many entries.
So what exactly is the criteria Creative Circle uses to decide which awards get endorsed by them?
“There’s no specific criteria,” replies Gotz. “The criteria would be the fact is that we can only choose a few, or the limit would be six or seven.”
Gotz says if Creative Circle endorsed too many awards, it would discriminate against smaller agencies because it was expensive to enter the competitions.
But this does not mean the door has been permanently closed on the Pendorings.
“I have heard from Pendorings that there will be efforts made to make it fully inclusive of all SA languages, to make it a really, truly South African awards show. If that happens I will be more than happy to put it to the CC once again that we endorse it,” says Gotz.