The Love Content Awards Were A Farce

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

The Love Content Awards closed day 1 of #ScreenMediaExpo last week in some style – after a great first day at the show, everybody was in high spirits and stayed until the end and as a result the award ceremony attracted a large audience BUT there though the ‘goodness’ stopped as the judging was more ‘love-in’ than love content and the whole event ended up pretty much as a farce with the self congratulatory awarding of an award to one of the organisers.

Everyone we spoke to pointed out (a) how close the judging panel and all the award recipients seemed to be (b) how unrepresentative it was of anyone outside the UK and (c) how unrepresentative it was of anyone outside of the inner circle / cartel / traditional OOH folks (delete as applicable).

One creative agency spoke with us and commented here saying “Did anyone on the judging panel NOT win?” pointing out the obvious fact that the judging panel (Clear Channel, Ogilvy, JWT, Kinetic, CBS, Spafax, ISE, JCDecaux and the Earl of Knobworth) seemed to award entries which were either created for them, booked by them or ran on their networks (Mike Blackman from ISE and his Lordship being the only exceptions).

We’re not naive and we’ve been on more than our fair share of judging panels and know how it can work, we understand that the judging panel can only judge what was put in front of it BUT we may have let the award ceremony go with little criticism if it wasn’t for the last award of the evening.

Here we saw Grand Visual, a really good content company (and who have featured favourably many times on these pages) walk away with an award for “the company that has done the most to advance the DOOH industry in the last 12 months

Oh really? Wow! Well I would love to have been a fly on the wall during the judging panel’s discussion on that one. Apart from producing some very good content for the traditional OOH folks playing with DOOH in and around London I cannot think of anything that might be considered ‘going that extra mile’ for the industry.

It would be churlish of me to point out that Grand Visual Theory Ltd,. pretty much used to be Junction 7 Productions; we quote from the web…

  • In 2002 Cobbold created Junction 7 Productions, a content production company to specialise in the development of creative content for the screen media market.  Industry specialist Grand Visual Ltd acquired the operations in 2005.
  • Prior to forming Grand Visual, Neil founded Junction 7 in 1996 which produced digital work for brand owners

There may or may not have been collusion in all of this but what is in no doubt is that this whole thing is very sad because this industry NEEDS award ceremonies but heaven forbid can we not ask for them to be open, above board, honest and perhaps a little more global?

Oh and in how many other industries can one setup a supposed ‘industry body’ – errr The Screen which is in reality just a cheap marketing vehicle for your company (yes, yes, yes Digital View) and name yourself chairman?

Mind you research fellow, Pratt and institute come to mind so perhaps next time around the Earl of Knobworth could get some US judges on board as well.

Below is a complete list of the Award Winners:

  1. Digital Out-Of-Home Innovation Award, Presented by Jeremy Male, CEO UK & Northern Europe, JCDecaux’The award for the most interesting new technical or creative development underpinning a campaign’Winner: Lynx Excite, Angel Ambush
  2. Best Use Of A Digital Medium, Presented by Lisa Rokny, Head of Digital Creative & Development, CBS Outdoor’The award for the most symbiotic interplay between creative and technology’Winner : Castrol ‘Right Oil, Right Car’

    Highly Commended : Mercedes Take-Off

  3. Interactivity Award: Presented by Paul Childerhouse, PSCo’s Special Project Director’The award for the most exciting and effective use of interactivity in a digital out of home environment’Winner: Avatar
  4. Non-Advertising Content Award, Presented by Derek Mann, Head of Create & Collaboration, Clear Channel’The award for the best unique content produced for a digital medium not intended for advertising purposes’Winner: ‘Smile For London’
  5. Digital Format Award,Presented by Anthony Van Someren, Spafax’The award for the best digital out-of-home format that delivers the most interesting creative canvas’Winner: JCDecaux for Transvision
  6. Best New Digital Site, Presented by Carolyn Nugent, UK Head of Digital, Kinetic’The award for the best and most exciting new digital site in the UK’Winner: Ocean Outdoor for Eat Street, Westfield & Hammersmith Towers
  7. Best Digital Out of Home Campaign, Presented by Mike Baker, Chief Executive of Outdoor Media Centre’The award for the best campaign of the year. The most interesting, ambitious or just plain effective’Winner: Nike ‘Write The Future’
  8. Industry Awards,Presented by Richard Cobbold, Chairman of The Screen & Managing Director of Digital View’The award for the company that has done the most to advance the DOOH industry in the last 12 months’Winner: Grand Visual

28 Responses to “The Love Content Awards Were A Farce”

  1. Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief Says:

    ‘The award for the company that has done the most to advance the DOOH industry in the last 12 months’ … winner: Grand Visual


  2. Creative Says:

    Did anyone on the judging panel NOT win?

  3. Ivan Clark Says:

    I would be interested to know why you think that is bollocks, perhaps because they are not one of your clients/advertisers

  4. Dylan Mouratsing Says:

    Pushing the debate in a more constructive direction, other than GV, who can you think of doing more for DOOH? I am struggling to think of a convincing contender..

  5. Leon Goldwater Says:

    I would say MonsterMedia, Arsenal Media, Marcel Paris are all convincing contenders

  6. Mary Whitehouse Says:

    That will be the same Grand Visual Ltd that Cobbold sold his Junction 7 Productions company (founded 2002) to back in 2005 then?

  7. Bill Jones Says:

    I think I’m more amazed at how outraged DailyDOOH is when you are guilty of exactly the same thing.

  8. Dave Says:

    So nice to see someone being honest about how they feel.

    Great thread, keep up the good work.

  9. Vincent Rice Says:

    I love it when you are in this mood Adrian – oh hold on, were Amscreen up for that award?

    Of course it was clique-city but that’s how these things start – it’s up to everybody else to enter content and push for a wider range of judges.

    I got half a dozen free beers down my neck so it was a fine event as far as I’m concerned.

  10. Uncle Dickie Says:

    It’s difficult for many of those in the content world to agree with the sentiments expressed here because it would look like sour grapes with regard Junction 7 … I mean Grand Visual.

    I can think of at least a dozen individuals who would merit such an award; signagelive’s Jason Cremins, Thomas Dokter, Mike Blackman (although he was on the judging panel), Arsenal Media, Monster Media, Pearl Media, LocaModa’s Stephen Randall and Dave Haynes who helps promote the industry with superb writing and even better PR.

    And good though Grand Visual are in the content world I am afraid I cannot think of one area where they would merit even an honorable mention in such an award category

  11. scott Anthony Says:

    Despite the obvious differences, what is essential is that more and more content providers emerge with some intelligent choices for brands. More Augmented reality and more gesture based interfaces. This is what we need to embrace!

  12. Al Patrick Says:

    Great thread this and as Dave says nice to see someone being honest about how they feel.

    I empathise with all views here yet there is one issue that no one seems to have raised so far (which I raised this with The Screen on entering the awards) which is not being able to select which award category you were entering. Consequently the judges first had to decide for each and every entry what category to enter them into, and then get started on the shortlisting and judging (in theory).

    One may argue it is obvious which campaign to put into which category yet this MUST be done by the entrant – can you imagine the American Film Academy deciding who should go for which Oscar!?

    This, and the issues raised above, many of which could have been overcome, have given the annual (hopefully) Love Content awards a poor start. Still it’s a start and since GB is market leader in DOOH it’s about time we had some awards.

    So here’s a suggestion, similar to the Clear Channel OOH Planning Awards, running for at least 5 years, why doesn’t a major OOH Media Owner like Decaux become the headline sponsor next year adding some endorsement and credibility to the event and inviting a wider circle of entrants? They are at neutral standpoint from a campaign perspective, have the cash and as long as there is a broad judging panel will not be inclined to choose campaigns on their own formats.


    PS. – Did anyone have any comments on the actual awards themselves?? They were lit up with actual LED”s! (see what we did there)

  13. Jackdaw Says:

    Last comment by Al Patrick on ‘the UK leading DOOH’. Waccy baccy must be good on the rock, many other markets ahead of the UK in DOOH; France, Scandinavia, USA.

  14. Anderson Cooper Says:

    Another classic industry shakedown from the Daily Dooh. I wasn’t aware of all of the details but the awards show was definitely very awkward.

    Like Anderson Cooper would say “Keeping them honest…’

  15. Jay Creative Says:

    Judges selecting category was the weirdest rule of all.

    Also, hopefully this thread will infuse some honesty into the process (IF there is a 2nd year for this award 😉

  16. Reginald Jeeves Says:

    “Love Content will be curated by both The Screen and a panel overseen by London-based DOOH creative agency Grand Visual” so says which is also owned by Cobbold .

    Richard Cobbold is fast bringing the industry into disrepute. He has made a mockery of what is not an industry association for some time and now he is doing the same to awards and an awards ceremony.

    Two things are incrediby sad here 1) the industry needs awards ceremonies as has been pointed out by other comments and 2) he has sullied the reputation of good people on the judging panel

  17. Robert Forrester Says:

    “Everyone we spoke to pointed out … how unrepresentative it was of anyone outside of the inner circle / cartel / traditional OOH folks (delete as applicable).”

    About sums up Daily Dooh too.

    No named quotes, just baseless and biased opinion.

    Perhaps its time Daily Dooh hired proper writers and journalists rather than self-opinionated hacks who want the world run their way (and who also struggle to place a verb and a noun together in any meaningful way)

  18. Lord Melchett Says:

    Robert the award ceremony was awkward. Look at who won prizes and who was on the judging panel. It is a little obvious and plenty of people talked about it afterward. No one can surely defend the Grand Visual award. here is a company and to give daily dooh credit they say how good they are that is a content company and has done nothing out of the ordinary for the industry. they sit on ‘love content’ whatever that happens to be. i am embarssed for neil morris who had to accept the award.

  19. Ken Goldberg Says:

    Why not throw the same party, and invite entrants to present brief case studies and screen examples of their best work on displays throughout the room? Publish all to a (sponsored) website and invite viewers and comments from around the world. It becomes a living resource, and you still get the networking event and the excuse to pour free drinks. Award ceremonies are little else beyond that and a chance for the self-defined inner circle to congratulate themselves and generate fake PR.

  20. Robert Forrester Says:


    Perhaps an interview with somebody on the judging/nomination panel may have been warranted? A little journalistic effort and perhaps answers to the many questions and comments this article has produced would have been provided.

    I’m sure approaching them wouldn’t have been difficult (I wasn’t there so rely on sites like this for information, and just expect more, that’s all).

    Judging by the activity on these comments, perhaps an interview should conducted be retrospectively–own a phone anybody?

    Just a suggestion

  21. Pisar Says:

    1.Biggest corporation takes all 🙂
    2. Winners adverts represented average level creativity of content. Most of them looks like typical TV adverts…
    3. Usually if someone from judging panel has connected with any brand or company these company’s can’t be in competition.This way is honest 🙂
    4. Where was viewers choice? Expo visitors and exhibitors should have possibility to vote also, they know the best in this subject…

    -it has been 1st time, I hope in future will be better 😉

  22. Richard Cobbold Says:

    Wow ! I get the history with Adrian, but who are the faceless gang behind !?
    Anyway – for what’s it worth:

    (a) It was a bit of fun. It’s hardly redefining the world, but it’s a good way to draw attention to the great creative work being done in this field. Everyone praises ScreenMediaExpo for bringing in more ‘end users’ as visitors – well this was one of The Screen’s initiatives with Mark to successfully achieve that again this year.

    (b) This was a very strong judging panel. The big 3 outdoor advertisers, 3 big creative agencies, Kinetic and the head of ISE. These are exactly the kind of people with whom the industry needs to engage and exactly the people to drive an initiative like this. If this is a ‘clique’, then it’s a key one to bring to the table.
    (BTW – only one panel member actually won an award (JCDecaux), which in itself is a very interesting story – as a 10 year old network and one voted for by its strongest competitors).

    (c) Submissions were open to anyone and, within its limited budget, it was widely publicised (in the dooh, at ISE, by ScreenMediaExpo, Sparksheet & The Screen). Part of the motivation to including key companies in the panel and supporting roles was to generate more submissions. The fact that over 100 pieces were sent in, suggests that we were working from a reasonable base. Of course it’s not perfect, but you’ve got to start somewhere and I hope that everyone out there who feels they missed out, will get involved to make next year stronger.

    (d) The Industry Award. This was a ceremony celebrating the creative development of this industry. If you wade through all the submissions (as the judges did), you can quickly see why Grand Visual were a contender. Of course there are loads of others, but someone has to win. That this whole panel might have somehow been swayed by the fact GV was a company I was involved in over 6 years ago seems a little ‘out there’ (and personally I (of course) voted for The Screen anyway..!)

    More the point is – whatever the rest of us think – that the likes of Lisa Rokny, Paul Banham, Carolyn Nugent & Nicole Yershon voted for them, means that GV represent a lot of what’s good about this industry to a significant slice of our outdoor advertising customers…

    Finally, I’m going to give The Screen a pat on the back for taking some risks and actually trying to make stuff happen. As anyone who has ever tried to put on an event knows – it’s not cheap, nor is it easy (just ask Mark Pigou or POPAI ) Last year The Screen successfully entertained over 800 guests with over 50 speakers (btw none of whom was from Digital View!). There are not organisations queuing up to celebrate creative content in DOOH, so LoveContent is helping to provide a focus.

    The Screen doesn’t claim to represent the industry’s interests, no one is forced to come and anyone is welcome to participate.. come out of the shadows and get involved !!

  23. Mediapro Says:

    Cobbald, let’s be honest for a second.

    Lisa Rokny, Paul Banham, Carolyn Nugent & Nicole Yershon are hardly strong representatives of the industry. Hold on, isn’t kinetic owned by wpp and isn’t grand visual part owned by……… Yeah, thought so.

    And Lisa Rockny??? Do me a favour. Met her several times and i’m guessing that her dad owns cbs or something like that. What a waste of space. She doesn’t have a clue what she is talking about. A strong representation of the rest of cbs who i expect we will be hearing of announcement within the next year or two. Will probably read ‘CBS, after pretending to know what they are talking about for the last few years, are entering into administration’. You only have to look at their competition on the side of their buses.

    And finally. Cobbald, ‘a bit of fun’??? What a poor exhibition. Have you ever been to ise amsterdam? Room after room after room. Do me a favour and crawl back under your stone.

  24. Robbie Williams Says:

    Lisa Rokny and GV are totally in bed together so she is bound to vote for them.

    If it was ‘a bit of fun’ then why involve everyone and try tomake it serious. Why waste peoples time? Still a farce and at least try to make it have some kind of foundation.

    Cobbolds comment is just offensive in my mind.

  25. Barnaby Page Says:

    ISTM that some sort of “viewers’ choice” mechanism, perhaps even interactive voting on the show floor, would not only answer a lot of these criticisms but also provide yet another way to engage Expo visitors with the DOOH medium. An idea for next year, perhaps?

  26. Leon Goldwater Says:

    Dear fellow DOOHers,

    Reading the above dialogue would make anyone cringe.
    At the end of the day we are all believers in the DOOH industry even after years of turbulence and immaturity of the market (and obviously some of our colleagues confirmed in our dialogue above).

    This industry will only start maturing once we start working together and not against each other by creating the essential transparency, professionalism and creativity with our partners, customers and colleagues of course common courtesy wouldn’t go astray!

  27. Jason Cole Says:

    Robbie – first of all who are you to write that comment? What have you done for the industry?

    Second point – the love content stand was at ISE Amsterdam, you must of been walking around looking at the floor

    Third point – kind of going back to the first point. Now if we look at what Richard has done for the industry I think we would find he has done alot more than you and most of the other people who have commented ridiculous comments on this blog.

    Get a life mate.

  28. Sonal Says:

    Just another point – Lisa Goldstein actually runs the screen and Love Content. And from the feedback I’ve heard, she deserves congratulations.

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