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New York Festivals says “No” to scam ads

New York, NY – In order to arrest the increasing presence of “scam ads” in a number of international advertising competitions, the New York Festivals has initiated a system whereby GrandJury™ judges are allowed to “flag” a suspected scam ad simply by checking a box when viewing an entry online. Additionally, NYF judges are encouraged to write confidential comments online to support their suspicions.  Upon being flagged, (the NYF) will commence an investigation into the allegations.

Talking about the organization’s anti-scam ad measure, New York Festivals President, Michael O’Rourke says, “Our first line of defense is our online judging system. We’ve found that having judges together in the same room in an isolated resort location can have a chilling effect on diligence.  It’s human nature: no one wants to accuse an agency or creative team, especially if the person you’re accusing is a friend or associate of someone in the room.“

According to O’Rourke, “New York Festivals has long been aware of and proactively involved in preventing so-called ‘scam-ads’—ads that ran without the consent of the client or were lifted from other agencies.”


In the past few years New York Festivals has denied entries or disqualified them based on the evidence collected from our judges. “As a truly international show—we have entries from over 71 countries—we applaud more recent efforts, like those of the One Show to prevent scam ads from being awarded and hope that other award shows follow suit on these aggressive and very necessary approaches towards eliminating scam,” said O’Rourke.

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