Thursday, January 08, 2015

12375: Howdy, Partner Awards.

The 4A’s Partner Awards launched with the lame advertisement above, produced by Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The agency likely “won” the assignment because CP+B Chairman Chuck Porter is the Jury Chair for the awards program. It’s always curious how advertisements for awards shows are so unworthy of award-winning status. Regardless, here’s the explanation for the Partner Awards:

The 4A’s Partner Awards will recognize and honor great partnerships that elevate creativity to new levels. We realize there are unique challenges that occur when individuals and companies with different personalities and cultures collaborate to achieve a common goal on behalf of a client. We want to salute those that put their egos aside for the greater good of properly servicing the client and creating meaningful work.

Okey-doke. There are lots of things to hate and question about the Partner Awards.

First and foremost, does the industry really need another awards show? Sorry, but awards continue to be nothing more than exclusive and political cheerleading events that really don’t honor anything besides the overinflated egos of the participants. Plus, awards shows are mostly concerned with generating revenue for the organizers—and based on the eligibility and fees, the Partner Awards are no exception. Hell, the entry requirement of a video submission demands that contestants expend serious time, resources and money just for the chance to play.

Second, the jury lacks diversity. This is not surprising, as Porter is a culturally clueless cretin running an ignorant White advertising agency. However, given the 4A’s alleged commitment to diversity—as well as the trade association’s awareness surrounding exclusivity in awards shows—it is disappointing to see the predominate Whiteness of the jurors.

The previous point leads to the third gripe, which involves determining who is truly qualified to be considered for—let alone win—a Partner Award. Sorry, but collaborations and partnerships in the advertising industry have always been suspect. Minorities and non-White advertising agencies are especially familiar with the issues, inequities and insults tied to teaming up with other firms, even when the allies are sisters and brothers harmoniously coexisting within a holding company. By golly, any enterprise defined as “below-the-line”—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, lifestyle, etc.—knows that second-class citizenship is a common position in professional unions.

From multicultural to cross-cultural to U.S. Census to U.S. Army to Commonwealth to Cavalry to Team Sprint to Total Toyota to Royal Order to Nissan United to frenemies, the examples of buddy bullshit abound. Plus, imagine the potential presented by Razorfish Global, Publicis.Sapient and the Saatchi & Saatchi Clusterfuck. Oh, if only Publicis Omnicom Groupe hadn’t experienced imploding impotence before consummation. And is it ironic or moronic that Google Global Head of Agency Sales & Services Torrence Boone is serving as a technology juror for the Partner Awards, having once been the Global CEO of Enfatico, perhaps the most infamous confederacy of dunces in modern times?

As long as White advertising agencies exist—demanding to be dominant dictators—anyone accepting a Partner Award should have an asterisk attached to his or her name.

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