DUBAI: Several regional industry figures have spoken out about the make-up of the jury for the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity taking place there next month.
"The absence of Arab jurors at the Dubai Lynx is an absurdity," declared Hubert Boulos, CEO Middle East at DDB. "I feel it is actually insulting to all of us," he continued. "I can't imagine something like this happening in France, for example."
And Mounir Harfouche, CEO at Lowe MENA, concurred, telling a session of the International Advertising Association, that "[o]ur people need to be part of the [advertising] experience, including taking part in judging regional awards".
He was enthusiastic about the value of awards, however, pointing out that advertising was the only industry where creativity was used to deliver a business-driven objective. "That's where it becomes a currency and the best investment a brand can make," he said.
But to avoid that creativity being simply an artistic expression, it required a context for its value to be measured. "Clients and agencies need to be aligned on the definition of creativity and that's how we can improve the outcome of the work," he added.
Lance de Masi, president of the IAA UAE Chapter, offered AMEinfo his idea of the perfect judging panel: "a diverse group of communications professionals, many of whom have themselves won awards".
He further called for "diversity in nationality, native language and, of course, professional extraction".
De Masi added that there was "a robust body of evidence of correlation between work that wins (creative) awards and work that builds business".
Warc has regularly published articles on the links between advertising creativity and business effectiveness. James Hurman, author of The Case for Creativity, said that a Cannes Lion represented the global standard for creative excellence, and an Effie the same for effectiveness, but noted that few campaigns ever won a gold in both.
And Martin Wiegel, a past judge on Warc Prize for Asian Strategy, advised that "cash, not social media metrics or tracking study scores are what businesses exist to generate, so calculate the financial return".
Data sourced from AMEinfo; additional content by Warc staff