TBWA decides not to enter local creative awards

TBWA\Dublin will no longer enter local creative awards and will instead focus on globally recognised award shows, including Cannes Lions, D&AD and the Clios. The move comes after the agency rebranded as TBWA\Dublin, introducing themselves as the ‘Refounders’ of the 23-year-old agency, and hired a new executive creative director, John Kane.

Kane has over ten Cannes Lions and over 30 international awards to his name.

Explaining the move, Kane said: “We want to be a world-class creative agency that just so happens to be based in Dublin. It makes sense that in order to achieve this we aim for only world-class creative awards. We want to change the height of the bar and not settle for anything less, and we at TBWA\Dublin have the talent in every department to aim for it.”

“We’re not saying local creative awards aren’t relevant, what we are saying is that at this moment in time they are not appropriate to us and our ambitions. I’ve been away for 15 years and coming back into the business here you realise there’s a certain comfort level with the standard of work that’s not really healthy. When agencies are walking away with over 20 local awards in one night you have to question the value of that to clients.”

To get to the standard required, Kane believes it will take a shift in thinking and a change of mind-set. “In my mind creativity, used in the right way, is a powerful tool for business. Agencies need to create work that goes beyond ads and creates a compass for a brand. It’s our job to come up with ideas that have a real effect on revenue and makes clients reassess what an agency can do for them. We need to get our seat back at the business table.”

Mark Nolan, chief strategy officer said:“Now, more than ever before, we are placing an onus on bringing strategy and creative even closer together. We believe that the most effective and powerful work always stems from getting this critical junction right. This is hardly a Eureka moment, but we see very little evidence of this happening today across our industry. It warrants attention and we feel we have the right talent to excel locally and beyond.”

Agency CEO Deirdre Waldron added: “For now, we are taking a break from entering local creative awards to concentrate on our higher ambitions, but we will still be very much part of the Irish industry. We still believe passionately in the work the industry bodies around Ireland do… we can hopefully help inspire the next generation to drive the Irish advertising industry forward.” The TBWA move comes as the Sharks organisers make renewed efforts to win the support of local agencies and urge them to enter campaigns for this year’s awards.

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