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Attention scam ad makers : ADC WILL tell on you

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Wow, these announcements are becoming more and more frequent! the New York based Art Directors Club has added their name to the list if award shows to want to make a strong statement against scam ads. The ADC has a slightly different tactic; if they catch you cheating, not only will they disqualify you, they’ll contact all the other award shows and let them know your ad is fake, pressuring them to act should you also enter the work in another show.

Since its founding in 1920, the Art Directors Club has held 88 annual awards shows and presented thousands of ADC Cubes for brilliant creative work. Unfortunately, like all other shows, the organization has also been challenged by scam ad entries. 

The ADC Annual Awards is a serious competition for legitimate work, and all entries must conform to program guidelines of how and when the work appeared. Any entry that raises suspicion is put under additional scrutiny, with more elaborate authorization and confirmation details required from both agency and client. Entries which violate the guidelines are disqualified from competition. 

As the upcoming ADC 89th Annual Awards season gets underway, the club wants the industry to know the following: 

  • Your secret is not safe with us. If we find an entry to be fake, the agency and client in question will be disqualified. Then, for the first time starting this year, we’ll take the additional step to communicate directly with other industry awards organizations and inform them about the scam ad so they too can be on the lookout and take action. We call upon other awards organizations to reciprocate.
  • ADC realizes some interesting creative ideas never get approved or run. In cases like this, agencies may enter the work in the ADC Annual Awards Playground category, created four years ago specifically for work that for one reason or another never got approved by the client, or never ran.

By taking a leadership position in driving this collective information-sharing effort, as well as offering the Playground category as an alternative outlet, ADC believes we can work together with other awards shows to substantially reduce the opportunities for scam ads to make their way through the judging process. 

Now this should prove to be interesting. Will a show like Cannes Lions or the Clios act if the ADC gives them a heads up on an ad? Time will tell, and in the meantime, the story goes on…

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