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01/06/2006 - par Mark Tungate

Do we need another advertising competition ? The adland calendar already seems to be stuffed with awards, from Cannes to the Clios, Epica, Cresta, Eurobest, the New York Festivals... Excuse me if I've forgotten four or five. And of course we recently had the respected D&AD Awards in London. (Congratulations to Yellow Pencil winners Fallon London, DDB London, Euro RSCG Flagship Thailand and JWT London, among others - you can see their winning entries at dandad.org).

Now it seems agencies are going to get yet another chance to prove their creative worth. There are rumours that veteran adman Neil French, formerly global creative ­adviser at WPP, is to create The World Press Awards. Apparently he's working in partnership with Barbara Levy, owner of the London International Awards. (Sorry, forgot those earlier. I went to the ceremony once - it was extremely long.) ­Connoisseurs of advertising gossip may remember that French quit WPP shortly after making supposedly sexist ­remarks at a conference, when he brutally dismissed the idea that women creatives could ­balance work with family time. It provoked a swirl of controversy on the Internet.

Whatever his views, there's no doubt that French knows great creative when he sees it. But is an awards scheme an ideal arena for his talent ? I accept that awards provide a barometer of creativity, motivate staff, and attract clients. But, as every good ad man knows, it's difficult to succeed in a saturated market.

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