The Abbys is in trouble. According to conversations that Campaign India has had with those involved, there are almost intractable opinions on how the Abbys should be held and who will control the Abbys.
It must be remembered that the Abbys is the property of the Ad Club, Bombay and the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) hosts the Abbys at Goafest.
Controversies on judging and processes have dogged the Abbys over the past three years, leading to calls for an overhaul. While peacemakers have attempted to evolve a consensus, the consensus has proven to be elusive.
Hawks in both the AAAI and the Ad Club have taken positions from which negotiations have become close to impossible.
The current impasse is likely to lead to the Abbys returning to Mumbai and the AAAI creating a new Awards at Goafest.
Lynn D’Souza, chairperson, Goafest, however said all will go as planned. “We are working towards the Abbies very much being a part of the fest in 2011. I am not aware of agencies taking part or not since we haven’t even begun on that process yet,” she stated.
Goafest 2011 will be held on April 8 and 9, with the closed doors Industry Conclave scheduled, as is traditional, the day before Goafest, on April 7.
Campaign India has, over the past three years, repeatedly warned of the situation coming to such a pass.
The split is an eventuality which will see both AAAI and the Ad Club, Mumbai losing, but seems to be the only possible outcome – unless extraordinary negotiations take place in the next few weeks.