Inside the KPMG office in Mumbai sits a 10-man team dedicated to an event happening in the land of fun and sun - Goafest 2011.
As agencies across the country flock to Goa to celebrate Indian advertising, campaigns entered by agencies that are winning at the Creative Abby awards are been re-looked at with a fine toothcomb by the Goafest organising committee with the help from KPMG, who are the official auditors of Goafest 2011.
Since Tuesday this week, the 10-member team at KPMG has been busy calling up clients, whose work agencies have entered to verify and double check all the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners at the Creative Abby. The verification involves checking the date of entries to verifying if the campaign has been ratified by the clients and that they are not 'one-offs' or 'scams'.
As the verification continues, it is understood that three entries that are winning Bronze at Creative Abby at Goafest 2011 have been disqualified. Out of the three, one of the entries hasn't been ratified by the client while entering for awards, while the other two entries face disqualification as they were past the cut off dates for the festival.
"Two were wrong dates while the client in the third entry said they have never worked with the agency," a senior representative from the Awards Governing Council (AGC) at Goafest told ET. The representative further adds that the AGC would be meeting on Thursday evening to disqualify the entries without informing the agencies.
"The agencies will be informed after the end of Goafest," he said. The double check by KPMG will continue till Friday evening for all the winners in the Creative Abby. The Creative Abby awards will be held on Saturday evening. "The process has been made more robust and gaps have been plugged. There is a tighter scrutiny this year. The pull back of entries has been across several categories," said Suman Srivastava, member, Award Governing Council (AGC).
KPMG has a team sitting in Mumbai that's working to double check entries that have won Gold, Silver and Bronze metals at the Creative Abbys. "They are making calls to the advertisers/clients to verify if they are aware of the campaigns entered by their agencies," said another senior official from the AGC.
He adds that although agencies are providing the letter of approval from clients, that's not a complete guarantee. "For print and outdoor entries, we are even scanning the individual campaigns and mailing it to clients to check if they are bonafide and ratified by the advertiser or not," he further stated.
Keeping in mind the controversies that has always plagued Abby Awards, the GoaFest Committee has created AGC to manage the media and creative Abbys. The AGC is chaired by Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar UM India. The Media Abbys is headed by R Gowthaman, Leader, Mindshare South Asia.