enough is enough

I once read that “all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to remain silent”

on this note I would like to share with all of you the content of the e-mail which i received today with regards to the 2009 Dubai Lynx.

Draw your own conclusions and please do share your opinion.

Hey Louai,

The Middle East press industry never fails to surprise you, isn’t it? It often becomes the Mediocre East press industry, because people just don’t put enough effort into what they’re paid to do and we get a whole bunch of crap reporting. Most editorial teams are content with not getting off their chairs and letting online content fill up their pages. But surely you’ve got big balls to take on the mighty FP7. Good on you, mate.

So here’s a story you can tell some beautiful airhostess at a bar, weeks from now.

As expected, FP7 Doha was named Agency of the Year. With 100 entries in Print and Outdoor each, they had their path to the stage all marked out. And if you thought they had a quiver full of big brands last year, take a look at the heavy artillery they brought in this year: Samsung, Heinz, 3M, Toys’R’Us, Higeen, Rakha Nissan Motor Co., WWF. Nothing could stop them. Stellar work on each brand came through from the fertile environment of Doha, whose citizens are known to have the same IQ levels as Nobel Laureates and award show judges.

But behind that gold-sequinned veil lies a story that I couldn’t make up even if I wanted to. What follows is not the Gospel truth. It is only a map that you could follow, if you want to find the Holy Grain of Truth.

1. FP7 Doha have created a Silver-winning campaign for Higeen Mouthwash (http://www.dubailynx.com/winners/2009/print/win_3_1.htm). Its titles are: Cow, Pig and Sheep.
That’s right.
In the Middle East.
Clearly, this mouthwash is targeting the pork-eating majority of its consumer market. And which one would that be exactly? Your readers would definitely like to know.

Strangely, it was not objected to by the editor of the publication it was released in. Or by its readers (Will wonders never cease?). So which brave company decided to sanction this bold advertising campaign that would win the hearts and minds of people? It’s none other than the Munir Sukhtian group of companies in Jordan (http://www.higeen.com.jo/). My thoughts exactly.


On closer examination of their functioning website (http://www.sukhtian-htm.com/Default.aspx?tabid=165), you will find that the 3 variants advertised in the campaign, do not feature in their range. Instead of Herbal, Citrus and Mint, you find Soft Mint, Cool Mint, Strong  for Smokers, Herbal and Winter Fresh. What’s more, the packaging and logo are completely different from the packs in the award-winning ads, which look more like Listerine imitations. So as a simple consumer, if you saw these ads in a magazine and went down to look for this particular bottle of Citrus mouthwash, you wouldn’t find it. Because it doesn’t exist. But it’s got a Silver Lynx. Applause please.




2. FP7 Doha have created a Gold-winning campaign for the Samsung washing machine Model No: WF338AAB. Brilliant stuff. I really like the ad and want to buy the machine right away. But guess what? It’s not available in the Middle East. Currently, as per their website, it is only available in the US. (http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/detail/detail.do?group=homeappliances&type=washersdryers&subtype=washers&model_cd=WF338AAB/XAA)
So what’s Samsung up to, advertising models that aren’t available here?

Samsung washer-oil


And then there’s that ad with Jesus taking pictures of nuns with a Samsung camera.
In the Middle East.
In an ad.
And it was released without any objection.



To say nothing of the other ad with the sexy teacher, whose panty-skirt is giving her eager students more wood than they can handle. Blink blink.
I hope you can ask Samsung what’s their marketing strategy in all this.



3. FP7 Doha have entered 15 ads this year for Rakha Nissan Motor Co. in Print and Outdoor each (see the festival brochure which has all the entries listed). Of these, the campaign for the Nissan Cabstar Truck was shortlisted in Print and Outdoor. There was also a TV ad, “Jackson 7” for Nissan Quest, which was shortlisted in the TV & Cinema category. Strangely, the Dubai Lynx organizers removed these ads from the shortlist as well as the festival gallery on Tuesday at 3 pm, just hours before the actual awards ceremony. Why?

Shouldn’t FP7 Doha be upset that so much hard work and money had gone to waste? It was their client after all (where the hell is Rakha Nissan Motor Co. located anyway?). Why else would they have created 15 ads and posters, plus a well-crafted TV ad (“Jackson 7” shot in Paris – sounds like a winner to me) featuring those ever-popular characters from the Middle East – homeless African-American musicians? Head-scratching stuff.



4. FP7 Doha have created a campaign for WWF that was shortlisted. (http://www.dubailynx.com/winners/2009/print/win_99_12.htm) But surprisingly, they didn’t put a web address in the ad. It’s also missing the WWF tagline “for a living planet”. Isn’t that strange? Maybe this nice lady will be able to shed more light on the matter.
Ms. Ida Tillisch
Director, Business Development and Marketing, EWS-WWF
Tel: +971 4 3537761
Mob: +971 508 543408
E-mail: itillisch@wwfuae.ae



FP7 Doha think this is over. But I think the fat lady in the abaya has still to sing.

What you do with this information is up to you.

As a bonus, I’m sending you screen grab from Maged Nassar’s blog which had his entire scam portfolio displayed. He removed it on the morning of the awards ceremony because he had originally done the ad for UPS. Wonder if he entered it into One Show like that…



Have a nice hunt.

John Doh

PS: You’re wondering who I am. Some frustrated habibi who lost bitterly to the Copperfields from Doha. Or maybe someone who has watched this farce long enough to have realised that this creatively-restricting market allows for a nibble of indulgence. Not a feast.

this is an update which I received today.

PS: On the awards night, I remember seeing that a bronze was awarded in TV to FP7 Doha, inspite of them not being on the shortlist anymore. The tough jury thought it was full of local insight, so they went ahead and gave it a thumbs-up. Odd.


So I went back to the first Dubai Lynx TV shortlist and I found that FP7 Doha had done the “Jackson 7” ad for a brand called “Quest” on behalf of Rakha Nissan Motor Co. Having worked on the category in my time here, I know cars pretty well and I’ve never heard of a model called Nissan Quest. Have you?

I felt something was fishy. I made some calls and did some online research and found that they’re indeed referring to the Nissan Quest, but this model is not sold in the Middle East, let alone Syria where that dealer is located. (Doha to Syria, what a creative leap, eh?)

The Nissan Quest is only available in the US and its sales are declining, so they’ll be discontinuing it in 2010. Jackpot.


Now in these times of recession, how did FP7 Doha find the budget and the audacity to do an ad for a product that isn’t sold locally? The answer is easy.

The desperate desire to become Agency of the Year makes them blind to reason.

Related posts: FP7 Doha work vanishes from Lynx website

75 thoughts on “enough is enough

  1. Pingback: FP7 Doha stripped of agency of the year title « ANUBIS

  2. Pingback: FP7 Doha stripped of agency of the year title « Campaign Magazine Middle East

  3. Pingback: Algo huele mal en el Dubai Lynx - Brandlife


    I am not surprised that FP7 Doha is once again in the midst of this controversy…..as was the case just a few months ago with the Cannes entry for EA Sports, Medal of Honour, which won an award, but was later retracted as it appeard that EA Sports had never seen or approved these ads, and their logos appeared in the layouts.

    Samsung in Lebanon and Middle East have released a statement that these ads were never seen or approved by them at any time…….mmmhh how surprising.

    It’s a shame how degrading some people can be….

  5. Finalist


    After this year’s fiasco, you can bet your bottom dollar that Dubai Lynx will be far more diligent in 2010.

    What’s happened this year has already happened. Let it go. Stripping Marion Jones of her Gold medal brought neither relief nor happiness.


  6. DubaiAdCritic

    I don’t understand why this is so difficult for some to understand. This is not sour grapes. This is strictly about agencies not following the rules. It’s NOT about ’scam ads’. We all do ’scam ads’. What is angering most people is not the fact that FP7 or any other agency for that matter did scam work that probably only ran once in a shady magazine. The serious matter is that they did a lot of it apparently WITHOUT the client’s approval!! Not only that, but also this isn’t their first time (The issue with EA Games at Cannes). Approval from the client is the only criteria governing the authenticity of an ad. If the client has approved the ad and has published it in the target market then it should be eligible for the awards. EVERYTHING ELSE is subjective and left for the judges to decide. We have to keep in mind that the Lynx as are the Cannes and other award shows are not awards for creativity. They are awards for creative advertising. If anyone could do an ad for a brand without being restricted by a client’s brand claims and equities or target market sensitivities then we all know that it would be a much easier job.

    NB. In the case of JWT Dubai’s lingerie ads last year, they used a loophole in the Lynx’s rules. Apparently the “Outdoor” section of the awards encompasses ‘in-store posters’ which is the only place these ads could have been and were printed. That said, the idea was done for Levi’s ages ago.

  7. DubaiAdCritic

    I don’t understand why this is so difficult for some to understand. This is not sour grapes. This is strictly about agencies not following the rules. It’s NOT about ‘scam ads’. We all do ‘scam ads’. What is angering most people is not the fact that FP7 or any other agency for that matter did scam work that probably only ran once in a shady magazine. The serious matter is that they did a lot of it apparently WITHOUT the client’s approval!! Not only that, but also this isn’t their first time (The issue with EA Games at Cannes). Approval from the client is the only criteria governing the authenticity of an ad. If the client has approved the ad and has published it in the target market then it should be eligible for the awards. EVERYTHING ELSE is subjective and left for the judges to decide. We have to keep in mind that the Lynx as are the Cannes and other award shows are not awards for creativity. They are awards for creative advertising. If anyone could do an ad for a brand without being restricted by a client’s brand claims and equities or target market sensitivities then we all know that it would be a much easier job.

    NB. In the case of JWT Dubai’s lingerie ads last year, they used a loophole in the Lynx’s rules. Apparently the “Outdoor” section of the awards encompasses ‘in-store posters’ which is the only place these ads could have been and were printed. That said, the idea was done for Levi’s ages ago.

  8. Finalist

    Jhon Doh,

    Everyone has worked really hard last year for Dubai Lynx. 90% of us feel hard done by the results. But to drag the Dubai Lynx name through the mud, brings discredit to our entire region and pisses all over the hard work every agency has put in.

    Awards are a lottery and it is unfortunate that 10 people sat in a room and thought that your ideas were less ingenious than someone else’s. Suck it up. Like we all have. Your well researched rant was entertaining at first but now it seems to have become a full-blown vendetta.

    It seems that you’re screaming for an investigation because you want to discredit the Doha work so it won’t win at Cannes. This is petty and vindictive. And all this simply because they had better ideas than you in your backyard. If the Thai team was doing the same work in Hamburg or Ho Chi Minh, you wouldn’t give a toss!

    If you work in this region, then for the good of it, you have to put a stop to this childishness. If you don’t work in this region, then collectively, we have to treat you like our greatest enemy.

    I sincerely hope you win a truck full of gongs next year or God help us all.


  9. MindME

    For God’s sake… I was one of the many many people at the Dubai Lynx this year & that just couldn’t believe the amount of work that came from FP7 this year and i was really really hoping they wouldnt win…..but you know what they did…WHY ????? simply because they had the best stuff to exhibit….Simple as that….Some comments mentioned that they had the money and the rest didnt in time of recession ….SO what if they had money and the rest didnt ? Our agency had a couple of entries with a very modest budget and we got nothing ? Am i going to blame their money now ? Sorry but thats not how i was raised. If you think that they do this kind of work for their own glory…..so what ? whats wrong with feeling good about oneself ?

  10. MindME

    Are we all forgetting last year’s JWT Dubai’s award winning lingerie ads ? I’m sooooo sure that actually ran in the middle east…. At least the samsung girl is wearing something. Pinnochio AND GLUE ??? You guy think thats real? dont get me wrong….i really like that ad and it has a good sense of humor…but no its not real…..But somehow Fp7’s Pig is stuck in your teeth.

  11. Finalist

    Dear Anubis,

    You’ve made your point. Tenfold. But now it’s time to take a hint from this post’s title. Enough is enough. Let it go.

    BTW on hearing that you’re the Chief Creative Officer of Paragon in Kuwait, I visited your agency’s site. The first print ad I saw was for Yellow Pages with a banana placed like a smile. Seeing as how this is the first ad in Paragon’s print portfolio, I assume you’re quite proud of it. In which case it might displease you to learn that this exact same ‘banana smile’ execution was done for Chiquita by MADCO in Dubai four years ago. It won Gold at the IAA Awards. I didn’t have to go as far as Uruguay, you see.

    I’m quite certain that as a self-styled messiah against copycat ads, this will hurt. But now you know first-hand that coincidences happen and duplication occurs.

    Please adjust that saddle on your high horse.


  12. Andy

    Attached message was posted at http://campaignme.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/dubai-lynx-launches-investigation-into-fp7-dohas-winning-work/#comments

    anubis Says:
    March 25, 2009 at 8:22 pm
    It is NOT only one agency (FP7) that is accused of wrong doing; there is a big list of agencies which will be posted soon on http://www.bloganubis.com with copy-cat, spoof/ghost ads; some of those ads have been awarded others have made it to the shortlist but the disturbing fact is the growing number of such entries in a regional award show… …

    Sound like loaui the guy is well prepared not just burnt down all FP7 Doha work, but the entire region……
    Well… after investigated all the works, what is the creative standard of this region should be? Like http://www.paragonmc.com ?

  13. Sorab

    Very funny, Killing joke! The only conclusion to me is: Don’t send any work to the Lynx anymore! Why waste your most brilliant work and get it stigmatized as scam just to get disqualified at a local award show? Forget the Lynx, don’t bother about FP7, they are all done.

  14. year three

    what we all hope now is that the investigations continue to all the work it has been submitted in the Dubai Lynx. Or shall we all stop writing comments now coz they got Fp7 Doha already???
    Come on people we all know that Dubai lynx since its first year has accepting work we all know for sure its not really done. I think this has to stop now from FP7 Doha or any other agency

  15. Killing joke

    Well, seems like all the other agencies did scam work as well. What a surprise! 95% of the shortlisted work is scam and 85% of the entered work is so – anywhere in the world at any award show there is. Wow. Big news, guys! But since this Kindergarten here put us in this position now, the Lynx have to investigate all the winners and shortlisted work. I was also pissed off at the Lynx. But now I am the most happiest man in the world because I didn’t even make it to shortlist. Ha, Ha, Ha!!!

  16. Jhon Doh

    how could i forget this one Mr. Lynx. the GREAT PRINT GRAND PRIX WINNER. that is on its own a piece of art to make it to the grand prix.

    17) first Hamdallh the creative director of Leo Burnett Cairo – brave man he is –
    claimed during the Lynx debate while Lynx staff are watching and just before the awards ceremony that “Heinz didn’t commission or even like his Heinz Campaign (which won the GP later on)” well this is an honest man at least he admit it and get rewarded for it.

    the equity of heinz ketchup is that ” it is thick ketchup..etc” all the campaigns in the world have been done around this single minded and focused proposition, however leo burnett wanted to change that in an awards campaign. and you know what. the client approved it just for the sake of the awards ONLY, at the end it is only one insertion, or was it more with on wrong equity. what a great piece! and a great reward! way to go lynx!

  17. dubailynx rise

    way to go Jhon Doh or shall i say Jhon Dubai now!!!
    now you ruin everyone else in advertising. but are you aware
    that you are ruining everyone and the whole industry EBEN
    YOUR OWN AGENCY NOW. but at the end that what it is, as i said before
    it is not FP7 Doha only but because they are on the top, we all wanted to hunt them down.

    but what does lynx have to say about this now. the other agencies
    or they just wanted to Crucify FP7 Doha to save the water of their face
    and think people would be satisfied when justice prevail and we hunt down
    FP7 Doha. they are mistaken if this is the message they want to deliver
    to the region, what applied on FP7 has to be applied to everyone now.

  18. Fernando

    The reason for so much anger and frustration:

    Let’s say about 80 agencies enter Lynx, so that’s 80 creative directors and their teams competing against each other.


    79 creative directors do the following:
    They work with their clients, they fight with their clients, they compromise with their clients, They try to raise the standard of advertising in this region. Out of frustration and to keep their teams inspired, they do some proactive work.

    1 creative director does the following:
    He doesn’t work with clients, he’s obsessed with awards. All his work is proactive and he does a mountain of this stuff.

    So, 79 creative directors are trying to improve the standard of creativity in the region and win awards while one is just trying to win awards.

    The reality of any award show is that while the majority of entries are real there will always be some brilliant proactive work. That’s okay because everyone does it and for good reason. But, when one creative director enters over 200 proactive ads and wins agency of the year. It’s not okay and for good reason.

    I’m not suprised at the scale of the outcry.

  19. bobo

    You forgot few more things…

    Aramex / FP7 Doha
    Last year they did some work for UPS, sales have gone up so Aramex decided to hire them to do same campaign as Fedex did! They deliver we deliver! Or let’s try to sell it to UPS also, so do one version for them, they are our client after all.

    Brainobrain / Fp7 Dubai
    Amazing campaign. They even hired art director from NY to contribute. Kids in Dubai will get smarter and smarter.

    It worked in Uruguay so they decided let’s make it locally relevant and release same ads in Dubai!

    House wife became smarter using this oils – they can understand the benefit of this amazing Qatar oil! Client run short of the money, if not there would be one flying pig too.

    3M POST IT NOTES / FP 7 Doha
    Ok guys we have amazing new product it is called Post it! You know what should we do we should approach this brief differently, we’ll do the worlds most expensive special media operation. There are no budget constrains…let’s do magic!

    BIG BABOL / Fp7 doha
    Big babol bubble gum are the one of the most unknown brands in the world. It is selling not to good in Doha so let’s do some kick ass advertising for them!

    DEWALT SAW / Fp7 Doha
    I don’t need to point out how amazing this is, there is a guy on the street smiling how effective this is and how good it works for a brand. If you zoom in maybe you can recognize that it is some junior from Qatar office …

    And there are more ads like this…

    You can take all awarded ads and start asking questions. That is not the problem.
    Problem is that your buddy’s that you protect entered ads for non existing products and non exsisting clients.

    That is the difference between the ads that Lynx is investigating and rest of the scam!

    At the end let’s face it. It is all scam advertising after all.

  20. jhon Doh

    now you guys have burnt down all FP7 Doha work
    and dragged down to where it would make you happy
    and satisfied. why don’t we all start picking up on the rest of the agencies and bring down the temple on every bodies head. so we all be even happier and can sleep the long nights because we are the people of principle and we want to protect award shows and the region. we want to feel happy that no one is better than anyone else.

    so as we are all on it lets bring them all down, and let the senior people from the leading agencies who start sending emails and provoked the whole thing be even happier seeing justice take place even in their side of the court. wouldn’t it just be fair.

    so here we go, please tell me that all these clients have for real commissioned the agency, approved the ads, paid for production, and ran the campaigns,….etc

    we will raise the questions and dubai lynx would do the
    investigation, and bring them downt:

    1) Y&R Dubai – ZEISS LENS – FLY campaignl
    for sure this is real work and the lens client wanted to promote the lens power in 2009 where lot of people still use lens for many reasons and it is now or never. the market now and with the financial crises can afford the lens client to spend money on production for lens campaign. brilliant. this one is real client brief work. isn’t it!
    who can doubt this one and why?

    2) leo burnett dubai – tide campaign
    yes with the real beautiful ads i see from P&G WORK ON TV AND PRESS this is for sure real work, client asked for it, and presented, approved, ran for couple of weeks and months like P&G usually run their campaigns. brilliant work P&G and leo

    yes sure we have been in the region forever and ever. we always saw ads and posters for plaster everywhere. it is usual for plaster brands to do press and outdoor campaigns for it self and invest in it to drive more sales. and the proof that both JWT and
    TBWA are doing the same campaign see it is really in demand to do plaster campaigns these days.

    4)TBWA Dubai – Pattex glue
    well done you brought in a product brand from the dead in the market – last seen in the 80’s
    and the client suddenly requested the agency to campaign for pattex glue because it is part of the yearly marketing plan. and the agency came up with this clear benefit for the market which the client instantly approved and invested in to increase sales in the market since it is available everywhere.

    5) TBWA Dubai – Eight resturant
    what is wrong with TBWA dubai doing campaign as such for client in beirut. since they are doing it for very cheap resturant by the corner who would for sure have the budget to advertise during financial crises as the tourism in beirut is booming in winter and they for sure can afford such campaigns with a very clear message and idea that would click with everyone and drive traffic into the resturant. sure thing

    6) Y&R Dubai – landrover gear
    yeah land rover car ads are all over the place in dubai and the region and you know what it is the perfect time to advertise landrover gear in the region because cars and land rover market specifically is booming and car sales did not get affected by the financial crises at all. and the biggest target audience in the region are not the gulf nation whom wear thoubs even on off road. no it is the mass, and these people are very interested in land rover clothing and gear.
    so the client yes asked for it, approved it, and run it. how could you suspect this one
    come on. it is Y&R and Land rover, they have this client. this is real work man.

    7) leo burnett dubai – fujifilm
    yes we all know that they have fuji film, and they spend heavily and they always do brand campaigns like these and we see them everywhere don’t we. this was just another campaign which leo dubai are used to do for fuji film and if you cant remember even in the 2008 lynx we saw couple of campaigns as good as this one and nothing is fishy around it at all. why would lynx investigate this one why?

    8)Genius LOCI Dubai – Westin Dubai
    this was one of the very very very few copy campaigns and for a resturant, so lets award it and you know what poor Genius LOCI they don’t have many entries and they are not a threat to any one so it will pass, and nothing fishy about it, resturants like westin dubai advertise heavily in dubai and long copy ads is their style it is not a favor from the resturant or anything like that, or maybe the owner is a friend of someone in the agency no. it is a real client and we see their campaigns everyday in dubai, no i meant every now and then.

    9) tribe – U2ED IMAX
    i have seen this run in dubai! like all the campaigns that imax run to drive traffic into the movie theatre or for films, this one is for real and it was for U2 3D IMAX silly people. it is for real.

    10) impact bbdo beirut – sharp
    no beirut don’t do scam. this one is real not been done in photoshop just for the sake of taking the picture, you can call the supermarket and ask them they will tell you yes, and the client approved it. you know sharp are very active in beirut unlike the rest of the region

    11) FP7 Dubai – mcdonalds
    come on guys, you always see such ads for mcdonalds in the street specially the price driven ads. they don’t usually have the price tag big and the sandwich bigger than the space no they dont. it always clean and neat like this one this is typical ad fro mcdonalds and am sure that the client saw it and it ran like the rest of their campaigns

    12) FP7 Dubai – leatherman
    are you joking me, we see this brand everywhere on the streets it is not like the first time ever in the history of this region. and am sure it is as real as the Chiqueta radio campaign. come on guys just focus on the grand prix and spray this one is for real

    13) leo burnett – GMC CADIA
    THIS ONE FOR SURE IS REAL because we always see GMC ads run like this in the region, and am sure the client seen it and approved because it is his style, and it was done to appeal to the consumer in GCC that is why it has been shot else where. and YOU KNOW WHAT AMERICANS CARS AND GMC ARE NOT HAVING ANY CRISES AND ALMOST BROKE NOT AT ALL, THEY STILL HAVE MARKETING BUDGET TO DO THESE AWARDS CAMPAIGNS, dont you think.

    14) JWT Dubai – virgin megastore
    poor thing they only have this one made it it must be real work and client brief because JWT are very honest agency and do not do scam or even proactive they only work on real briefs from the client and they dont copy ads god forbid because if they do the people will get fired. and you know what virgin are very very interested in doing ads for the kids books section. and knowing virgin and the constant campaigns they do every
    day, it is part of the agenda for this year to promote kids music books. you fool.

    15) JWT dubai – hotwheels
    oh my god they work for Mattel , how cool i wish i work for JWT Dubai they dont do scam at all.

    and shame this year bra campaign for the lingerie store did not make it like last year naked woman in the breast, bottom front and back area campaign that was real and ran for sure press and outdoor but in the store and there is nothing sensitive about it to have naked women.

    15/B) and buy the way all their work for the DM
    is real work and done for real and you dare proof otherwise they are not cheap mockup done by the agency and the agency took the pictures for it in the locations and did the board and the jury bought it, for real.
    you know what it is not really important, DM. because it doesn’t count in agency of the year and anyone can get away with anything there. and it is not the bird that fly in JWT office told me so, no at all, he told me it is all real he he he it is real work. but who cares if it is not. come on it is JWT. honest.

    16) TBWA Dubai – hand dial hand sanitizer
    you know what it is a fast moving product, to boost it even more the client decided to do this campaign to boost the sales. or is it the opposite! and the client have seen it and approved like all the other campaigns what do you think, for sure

    again this is another proof that we can do the same, check our client for this one HENKEL PDC EGYPT SAE . we can do it.

    have a nice hunt MENA.

    PS: the proof will be uploaded soon lets see who is after this time lynx or us again! I do keep my promises

  21. bobo

    Fp7 Doha is finally on this blog.

    Doha boys, give us some info what’s happening!
    Do you have anything evidence to prove that those ads are real!
    Is Samsung suing your ass?

    Give us proof!
    If not please don’t give us speeches about ideas and creativity.

    Fp7 is doing investigation?
    Why if everything is real scam!

    And don’t attack the guy who is hosting this blog. His work is not amazing, you can say it is average or bellow ME work. So what we are not questioning creativity because that matter is subjective. Different shows different judges different awards. But the fact that you lie and cheat is objective. And every show will tell you same things.

    Soon you will receive mail from One show saying your work is scam, Clios if you entered same thing? Did you spent already money on Cannes? If you did? Sorry guys. Maybe you can find some other client to release these ads. Last year it worked out for you!

  22. anubis

    Sunny boy…Just to prove to you that this is not something personal against FP7 or any agency it is only my way of saying it is about time we stopped awarding work that does not comply with the rules and regulations of the competition.

    JWT Cairo:


    JWT Dubai:



    JWT Kuwait:






    the list is long so feel to check out more examples featured on blog Anubis

  23. Pingback: Dubai Lynx Awards to investigate FP7’s award winning work | Bhatnaturally

  24. anubis

    dubailynx rise….We have not removed any of our work from anyplace. click on the link to our website (its on your own comment) and check for your self.

    NB. we have nothing to hide. by the way why do you insist to change the subject of this post? are you from FP7 or from the Dubai Lynx (as per your nick name)?

  25. ismail

    Concept cars exist in the car industry. Fashion shows exhibit what
    cannot be worn ever in public. The same is the case with advertising awards too.
    Don’t forget that the purpose of awards is to open the channels of thinking and introduce
    newer ways of ideation. It is to show clients that ‘such kinda work’ can work wonders
    for your brand so start embracing such bold ideas. No one seems to remember that here.
    Everyone is focused on chopping someone else down and this is all going to backfire on
    all of us. SO LET US END IS HERE FOR OUR OWN GOOD. It is FP7 this year, next year it
    could be anyone of us. Anyone listening?

  26. sunny boy

    Hey! Good point man! This is getting personal now so let’s stop it.
    And why isn’t anyone talking about JWT Dubai’s campaign for lingerie
    last year that won Gold at Lynx. Don’t tell me it was released in the Middle East.
    People are bent upon accusing FP7 this year while we ourselves have been doing the same.
    Whom are we fooling?

  27. brendon

    In recession period, the number of entries have increased..this shows the
    passion for doing good work in the region…But instead of applauding each other for
    being brave and resilient, we pull each other down…crab mentality never leaves us is it?
    The region sucks man!!! …I have worked in Asia and also Europe…and it’s never
    happened there…If I cannot think of good ideas, I’ll not let you think of it too..
    this is the attitude here..

  28. dubailynx rise

    fantastic, loaui the guy who run the blog removed all his work from: http://www.paragonmc.com
    well done loaui to really stand behind the real work you do and you want all people to be doing too.

    but we admire the fact that you did not remove mu comments about your blog and work, when you moderate and sensor all the comments on your blog before they are posted which makes it very transparent for all, since we all could know at the end if you had every ones point of view on your blog or just the comments you would like people to hear. how ironic!

  29. dubailynx rise

    Because couple of people and bloggers dragged lynx and the whole region into this. Unlike any other region in the world after any award show. We believe this unbalanced reaction of these few people and lynx towards the blogs could ruin the whole show and any chance this region to rise up again and do great work after all FP7 and other agencies did to lead the way for the first time in the history of this region. And pushing everyone to work harder and do better if they want to catch-up and that was clear in 2009.
    Am one of the many creative in my agency who witnessed how my own agency started digging for FP 7 the next morning of the lynx show. And as if we are in much better place than them if they do the same. It is insane! I have to say it takes lot of courage to speak about this (when you say the truth), but since me, many creatives here and many friends from other agencies feel it all has been going totally out of proportion and it is not only effecting FP7 now but everyone of us at the moment we had to speak out. Our objective is not to defend FP7 as am sure the bloggers who are leading this wave would make it sound like BUT our objective is to really say things the way they are and clear lot of confusion taking place.
    People, media and lynx think everything that has been put on the blogs present the whole region and that we all share the same thought. well this is completely wrong. WE DON’T. and there are lot of facts we cant hide from or pretend we are living in a different world. Our objective is to put things in perspective.
    We have to say this:
    Since it reached this stage of great confusion now and since the big headlines of the bloggers and lynx now is to protect the awards ….etc then we and the whole region ask for the following (it is not a request it is a must):
    1. All the winners work in the lynx this year has to be investigated with the clients, and we would know if this happens or not because we present many agencies and we have work in lynx this year. Some has been investigated but not all and not as crucial as FP7 I have to say! It is small industry after all and everyone knows someone in every agency and we talk.
    Because everyone in this region and on top lynx people knows that all agencies are doing the same thing more or less. And if there is no proactive work with clients and taking risk then this region and other regions also which we know very well would not have not even 10% of what we submit in best cases to enter in the awards and maybe win. And there would be no awards business. Come on! Don’t pretend you don’t know, look in the media and tell us if the great campaigns we see in lynx and cannes are the same we see everyday around the world in the newspaper, magazine and outdoor…etc !!! please don’t tell me that you really think that one of the most awarded campaigns in gun report, Clima bicycle lock is client brief work and ran in media as a real campaign do usually, and that in 2007 a client would spend lot of money to produce and release a campaign for a bicycle lock and do an other campaign the year after! and many many examples, left and right like that, please don’t under estimate our intelligence. We don’t want to go to much in this because it will blow up in everyone’s face.

    2. we know the truth and so does everyone in advertising, what we want after all this been done is lynx to really consider what they say and do before they do it. Because there is no way back after this. And what we want is lynx to protect this and make sure the show continues and great work to continue in this region. Not kill it. It depends how you look at it and how you put it. Every region has it is own case and merits. Don’t tell us the eurobest is like spikes and like lynx. Don’t tell us the work that comes out of Europe or USA and the amount of proactive out of the whole sum is the same from far east or middle east or Africa or Australia…etc
    This region needs time for it to fade out slowly from winning on proactive and maybe scam work to client brief work, that doesn’t mean it is right at all. but we should not slaughter everyone with our ignorance how to deal with it, and because we want to rush things. Brief work will replace ghost work slowly. Lynx or good work is only 3 years old now but we all want to pretend to be some thing we cant now and ask the whole region and the lynx to become something else over a night. It can not happen and things need time like every other region in the world. And people knows this very well. Awards organizers knows this very well. Things need time to blossom we cant push it because it will break. Lynx knows this very well but am afraid they will take big part of breaking their own show and the region if they don’t study this very well before they react. We and the work has to evolve before all the good things take place ,we have to have the foundation which we don’t yet.

    All of you out there who are still in silence and know exactly what’s going on now. Where things are going if you don’t make lynx and the industry hear your voice is not good for everyone and it will break on our heads.
    And this is exactly what these irresponsible blogs are doing and they think it is funny, and serves their own personal agenda PLEASE look at the work of this guy Loaui (from bloganubis ) http://www.paragonmc.com and tell me what on earth he is talking about, and from which school is this guy and the guy who feeds his blog ‘John Doh’ comes from, and if these guys are qualified to lecture all of us and lynx the lesson they are preaching. God! they should be on top of their career now . look at the bottom pictures that he has for him self and read the comments and you would know the kind of mentality they have. Please read the comments and the views they had been uploading everyday on the work and how he and ‘John Doh’ crossed all ethical, private and human lines. It is not just expressing point of view or a case but it went beyond that to more personal level, lying, faking, racism and putting words in peoples mouth. In the name of the freedom and self expression and blogs..etc.
    well you failed your self and abused the media you are using. just check the language and tone of voice they are using this is downgrading for them self first and all the people lynx and media who now are following their trail. And the question is can just anyone do anything to anyone nowadays, just like that!
    If you think that things will be resolved the right way if you don’t speak up you are wrong. It is not any more.
    Like these guys spoke out and made the whole media and lynx move in their direction because no one else is speaking out (and we all know they are only couple of people whom they don’t present all of us or most of us) then now you have to speak out and let them hear your voice to know where you stand so we can balance the story and empower the right things and move things in an other direction and HELP LYNX TO DO THE RIGHT THINGS FOR THIS REGION AND NOT KILL WHAT WE HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR ALL THESE YEARS AND NOW WE GOT THERE THEY WANT TO BURY IT. IT IS AN EVOLUTION NOT A REVOLUTION.

    Whether awards are withdrawn or not. Whether we get out of this right or not. The painful truth that you all are killing every chance to do proactive or award standard work with our clinets. And even if you do I wonder if clients would give you approval to enter the awards. Because we simply scaring them out of this whole concept of awards. And we know how client behave when it all come to the awards.
    So what the hell we are doing to our self.

    Last 2 point:
    1. I don’t think lynx, or any other show has to prove their integrity to anyone even in the middle of all this. We all know as mentioned how things go in award shows and we accept and compete on the same level. I love what greg davis said in cannes 2008 “ award shows are to celebrate crativity”. And if they think they should that means just anyone, anyone can do anything to any award show and question their integrity as they say and the credibility of the show, and what is happening today in the lynx could happen to any show just the same exact way. And we all know the campaigns that we can question and doubt. And people will always enter and want to win. But today this is all could be killed.
    2. from my point of view which I totally believe it is true. FP7 did not win because they did real , ghost, proactive, scam or any kind of work you want to call it. THEY HAVE WON BECAUSE THE DID THE BEST IDEAS AND EXECUTION. THEY ARE ON THE LEAD. That is why. Because ladies and gentlemen it all comes to one simple fact. All of the other agencies have the same chance to do the same work whether real work ‘as some claim they only want to do that’ or even ghost or even scam or even proactive, you name it. They all had the same chance. And they all did it all we know. But their work was not as good. Didn’t they. Or did any body stop them from doing the best they can or the best ideas possible on real clients brief? So when we failed what would be the easiest thing to make us feel better about our self, it is simply “let’s hunt FP7 down”. This is the awful truth otherwise why would not anyone have the same argument against any other agency, or why wouldn’t my own agency attack it self the way they start attacking FP7 the vey next morning of lynx?

  30. creative name *

    John Doh, that was some of the most entertaining piece of literature i’v read in a while.

    Personally, i know for a fact that the Samsung ad (jesus) was not appreciated in Lebanon, and the church is making a big commotion about it. im trying to find some links to support this but i just found our about last night on the news.

    My biggest worry isnt the agencies that cheat. Its the judges that are suppose to be “highly knowledgeable” in the field. I think the Lynx awards have lost all credibility.


  31. Pingback: Dubai Lynx launches investigation into FP7 Doha’s winning work « Campaign Magazine Middle East

  32. Martin Diessner

    Thanks for a great story..this is not the first time that this happens, and in the past we have never seen any consequences weather it was agencies blatantly cheating or juries not being capable of judging properly.

    Some semi-related links with regards to how ‘digital’ as a category has been disregarded over the past years:

    “Online not good enough for Campaign Awards Middle East”

    “Insult to online category at Campaign Media and Planning award”

    I am wondering what the IAB will say to the FP7 story…well done guys!

  33. Pingback: Dubai Lynx awards names FP7 Doha ‘Agency of the Year’ for ads that did not even run | Martin Diessner's blog

  34. John Doh

    The morning after

    Sunday morning came and almost every agency in the Middle East was getting forwards from “FP7 well-wishers” about this nice little blog. I could hear giggles and gasps outside my cabin as the young ones tried to comprehend what they were reading. I could even see some high-fives over the Macs. People were happy.

    But over at the offices of FP7, swear words were flying. I would like to reproduce them here but I don’t understand Arabic and my Afrikaans is pretty weak too. FP7 Doha had been caught out and the smaller parts of their anatomies were in a tangle. Some madman in Kuwait had put up scandalous lies on his blog and everyone was believing him. This was all a bad dream.

    Thanks to my friend in FP7, who could teach Brutus a thing or two about loyalty, I got a whiff of what they were saying.

    “We’re so screwed for Cannes.”
    “Dude, we’re beyond screwed. There’s no getting away this time. Didn’t you see how Lynx knocked us off the shortlist?”
    “We can’t let all that money go down the drain. Let’s try and change the ads to Ford for Cannes. I know somebody there. ”
    “Omigod! Now everyone knows about Higeen. How can we counter this?”
    “I know what we’ll do. We’ll print Higeen labels and stick them on Listerine bottles and then send that to everybody.”
    “Yeah habibi. That will only bring the Economic Dept. onto our backs and we really need that.”
    “Hey, Samsung’s calling from the US and they’re furious. What do we do?”
    “Noooooooo! Whatthehellisthis? Whothehelldidthis? Howthehelldowestopthis?” “Mommy!!!”
    “Wallah, I tell you, if I catches the guy who writes that mail, I will skin him alive!! Khalaas.”
    “This can’t be happening. If I close my eyes, this evil blog will go away. Ahhh, that’s better.”
    “Hey, the Doha office is not taking any of our calls. And all their mobiles are off.”
    “Oh shit! We’ve already sent out the “We’re the Agency of the Year. Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah” ad to Campaign and Communicate. What are we going to do now? Oh shit! Hey Tom, you know how this Internet thing works. Can you get rid of this shit?”
    “Calm down and have a large whisky. I have an offline idea which I will take online right now. I’ll seed it into the blogs that these are just rumours and everyone will nod their heads in agreement, switch off their computers and wait in bed for the Tooth Fairy. Furthermore, no one reads that blog anyway.”
    “But what if this appears in Campaign or Communicate? That Steve guy from Dubai Lynx will call us up and say he wants his trophies back. And I’m not ready to deal with that shit again. The New York Incident last year was a bloody nightmare. If it happens again, I will cut off the pipeline to Doha. I don’t care. Tarif keef?”
    “I knew it. I knew he would screw up. I knew it. I told you so. I told you, didn’t I? He’s too young and stupid to be in the Top 20 CDs of the world. I knew it.”
    “Has Fadi stopped whipping Maged yet? Habibi, tell him to save some for us.”

    You can imagine the rest and keep smiling. My friend (let’s call him Brutus shall we?) was so glad that he got to see these reactions upfront. “It’s entertainment that money can’t buy, man. You should have been there.”
    At one point of time, I was. But I had to move on. Thankfully, I’ve got my people everywhere and I know how The Factory works. And there are more people who hate it than love it, so I’m safe.

    It’s all so ironical. An agency that has consciously decided to build its reputation on fake ads is worried that its reputation is being tarnished.

    Grow up and face the music, lads. And do defend yourself if you can. The blogosphere is open game. It belongs to you as much as it belongs to Louai.

    As for me, all I can promise is that this won’t take long. Just a few more stories to tell. Then you can sleep peacefully.

    John Doh

    PS. Tom’s wondering when the fat lady in the abaya’s going to sing. Guess his grasping powers aren’t what they used to be. I’m sure Fadi’s figured it out by now. But Tom’s an old friend, so here are 2 clues: 6 April. 21 June.

  35. bobo

    Hey guys,
    I feel really cheated.
    All the things that happened seriously compromised Dubai Lynx festival.

    We are doing our research, not because we are jealous, we are doing it just because we all want to play on same level and rules apply to everyone.

    Seriously, we should ask for our money back!

    PS: Who the f*** were the people that were helping the judges to understand local relevance of work? We would like to see the names? If you name judges you should name judges little helpers also! I want to know name of person who was ok with Pig, Jesus and sexy teacher. All local heroes!!!

  36. anubis

    FP7 is not the first or the only agency resolving to spoof/ghost ads or copy-cat ads and that is the real problem. A lot of controversy has been raised around this topic and the strongest resistance ironically came from the top plagiarizers!
    if you have time please follow these links as they could shed some light on this sensitive topic:













    and the above are just the tip of the ice burg.

  37. Karen, Dubai writer

    The UPS and gummi bear knock-offs were surprising to see awarded. And the bug spray. That’s one I didn’t know was ripped off. I’m guessing the judges didn’t know either because they seemed like a really good group of accomplished professionals. These things aren’t perfect.

    That said, I think FP7 is taking a lot of heat on this blog for a shady practice that is pretty widespread in the region. If the definition for scam extends to work that is agency-funded, and runs a total of 1 time in a cheesy publication, it would seem that most every agency in the region needs to check itself. Because everyone is cheating. The argument is really, “your illegal ad is getting more awards than my illegal ad because yours is illegal-er.” Come on.

    In the end, cheating is cheating. And I don’t think we can point fingers at those doing it “a lot” until we’re all willing to stop cheating “a little.” Or maybe we should just call out everyone else too, in our effort to truly achieve fairness.

  38. CreativeForces

    The Messenger: No one mentioned that the ads that actually won lacked creativity or anything of that sort. With that said, the fact that some of these ads did not run does not make it less creative, yet it poses the question of the credibility of the award show itself, since on their rules & regulations page, they mention (not us) that the work must be real work, approved by clients, and running in any sort of media.
    In the case of gummy bears, which won the outdoor Grand Prix, it is pretty obvious that someone saw the poster online, contacted the artist, slapped a logo on it, and got themselves a Grand Prix…
    As for the “pig”, do you really think that an Egyptian client, asked an agency in Qatar, to produce a campaign for the Lebanese market?
    And so on and so forth…
    Now the million dollar question is: If any jury member knew about this, would any of these entries even get shortlisted?

  39. The Messenger

    Not defending anyone here but as long as the ads were released at least once in the following countries then they are eligible for the Lynx:

    Afghanistan Libya
    Algeria Morocco
    Bahrain Oman
    Egypt Qatar
    Iran Saudi Arabia
    Iraq Syria
    Jordan Tunisia
    Kuwait United Arab Emirates
    Lebanon Yemen

    Pig, Jesus and sexy chick are ok in Lebanon so it could have been released there.

    Even if the ads were just made for this award and only released once, they got the approval of the brand to release these ads so its fine.. unless the brands didn’t know about this and they weren’t released. Its not easy coming up with award winning work even if its just a spoof. You also can’t change the rules, you can’t say oh an ad must have been released at least 10 times to be eligible for an award. It won’t make a difference.

    Again not defending anyone here but the way some people talk its as if “oh if we wanted to create an award winning campaign just for the awards we can”. Well you can’t, if you could you would have but you can’t so stop acting like sore losers.

    If the ads were never released and they dont have the approval of the client then they should be disqualified other than that it should be ok.

  40. Eddie the writer


    You’re bang on, mate. The economic downturn will still be with us this time next year. Agencies will have a lot less money to spend on awards. And at this year’s Lynx, some agencies were spending from budgets allocated last year, when there was plenty of cash around. Some agencies may pull out altogether. Others will spend frugally.
    As for the agency I work at, I’d much prefer they didn’t enter my work for Lynx at all and spend the money on entries for award shows that have credibility.

  41. realdeal


    Keep them coming. It is indeed very important to expose the kind of dirty games some agencies play to take home the glory, year after year. If I remember correctly, Dubai Lynx, in their first year, did take back a radio award from fp7 because of some such issue.

    If Dubai Lynx is planning to position itself as an honest and true award, they have to do something more than just keep quiet. Do they have the balls to do that? May be not, for the risk of losing good money from the network next year.

    But if this is not going to stop, may be next year some agencies will not enter their work in Lynx. Then, only then will Lynx will wake up and do something about it.

  42. b l o w

    Thank you for such a great post… I hope someone would act to stop this from happening again!!! The problem is not that they are entering scam or ads that cannot run due to the visual work (pig-jesus-short skirt), the real problem is that when this kind of ads win, they are taking away the chance from real ads to win.

  43. Eddie the writer

    Might as well add my five cents worth. The judging at Lynx is inconsistent at best and atrociously bad at worst.I’m glad that work I entered only made the shortlists. Last year, the same thing happened with an ad I entered. It went on to win a Lion at Cannes and get in Communication Arts and I’m looking forward to One Show and D&AD.

    On another note, the BrainoBrain should never have won Grand prix in outdoor. The idea is a print campaign. A poster has to communicate its message in no more than 2 seconds. Even though the BrainoBrain outdoor was an in-store poster, people in stores browse, they do not stand, fixated by a poster that will take them time to read.

    Samsung washing machines: the communication loop hasn’t been completed. There’s a gap. And that’s the writer’s fault.

    As for ‘no blink’. The thinking is flawed. The human reaction to the situations shown would be that one’s eyes would be unblinkingly wide open. When one sees something astonishing, one’s eyes are bolt wide open. This campaign just doesn’t make any sense.

  44. Anand Bhandarkar

    Really what can we say, it is disgusting to win awards if it is this way.
    Have the award lost their value, are awards given for originality or just because someone likes it.
    This is not the first time its happening but it happens every year. Why can’t the jury be made compulsory to go through bloganubis and similar. Smaller agencies who have got good ideas but are weak in execution not because of their talents but because of budgets will eventually shy away from entering this awards.

  45. Pingback: enough is enough | bingo bango

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