MARYLOU ANDREW: What is new and different about the PAS Awards 2012?
FUAD CHUNDRIGAR: What’s new is that it’s 2012 and the challenge was to build on what we achieved last year. More people are interested, so there are more categories. We have attempted to keep the sanctity of the judging process intact and ensure there are no compromises there. We took feedback from last year’s jury panel and their reservations and tried to address those.
QAMAR ABBAS: In concrete terms we have added two new categories. Media Innovation, because digital is becoming bigger and there is also a lot more innovation in BTL. The other category is Campaign of the Year. Across industries we will be awarding the one campaign that stood out and can be viewed as a benchmark.
MLA: Last year people felt that most of the winning campaigns were TVC-based because the awards focus on product categories and not on specific media. Is that something you have addressed?
FC: Generally, advertisers end up spending 80% on TV so that becomes the dominant media. However, we are trying to push other categories and we have seen good examples of digital and activation.
QA: This year the jury was also more geared up to ensure that TV did not outshine other media.
#### With the PAS Awards 2012 set to be held on May 18, Marylou Andrew speaks to Fuad Chundrigar, VP Marketing, Engro Foods (and Chairman, PAS) and Qamar Abbas, Executive Director, PAS about what to expect from the latest edition of the PAS Awards.
MLA: What were the selection criteria for the jury this year?
QA: The idea was to have a mix of people from marketing, media, advertising, creative, etc. The challenge is, because our industry is relatively small, to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest. We need to educate the industry about the fact that although their peers are judging their work, we have systems in place to ensure all campaigns are judged fairly. Systems like ‘rescuing’, which basically means that if, for example, Fuad were on the jury and the ice-cream or dairy category comes up, he would excuse himself from judging the entire category.
MLA: How difficult is it for people to accept being judged by their peers?
FC: There will always be nominees who will question the process. However, if we remain focused and disciplined and keep educating them, things will change. When you take up the kind of challenge we have, it will take three to five years for the process to be accepted. Take the Lux Style Awards, now after over 10 years of investment it is becoming a benchmark people look to. What we don’t want to do is to become lenient in the way the jury is working. One of our objectives is to generate interest in this industry, so that IBA or LUMS graduates will consider advertising and communications as a career choice, which they don’t today. I think this is a responsibility all of us in the industry share equally.