New rules for Dubai Lynx awards

Chris Forrester

The Dubai Lynx advertising awards were, until this year, the most prestigious in the region, covering TV, cinema, press and outdoor advertising. This year’s event was marred by entries from creative house Fortune Promo-7 that were not created locally, the whole object of the awards, and saw direct allegations of cheating that resulted in FP-7 being stripped.

Now, new rules have been brought into play. According to an official communiqué: "To establish the way forward industry opinion has been gathered from both the organisers of Dubai Lynx and the IAA UAE board." Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions, organisers of the festival, said: "Dubai Lynx is not an art show, it is an advertising festival. For agencies to enter pieces of work that were not created for bona fide clients insults the hard-working international jury, and the other, honest, entrants. As organisers of many shows, such as Cannes Lions, Eurobest and Spikes Asia, we are determined that Mena will have an awards show that is above reproach, hence this clarification and tightening of the rules for Lynx Awards 2010."

The ‘Zawya’ web-publication quotes him saying: "Over and above the rule changes, however, we of course reserve the right to penalise those that continue to blatantly disregard the rules and spirit of the event." This is in reaction to FP7-Doha pitching for the Dubai Lynx awards with a set of artworks that were not assigned by the principals.

In reaction to the Lynx statement, Dr Lance de Masi, President of the IAA UAE Chapter, said: "The Lynx organisers have reacted in a balanced and thoughtful way, preserving the essence of the awards as an incentive and celebration of creativity, while providing deterrents to breaches in integrity. The onus is now on the industry to exercise discipline and to work within a universally recognised and required ethical framework."

The new set of rules will be imposed ahead of the 2010 Awards, slated for Dubai next March.