There was a time not so very long ago when Britain’s advertising industry was the envy of the world. But judging by the majority of ads showcased on this year’s Chip Shop Awards website, it would appear those days are long gone.
The Chip Shop awards have always had a reputation for their shocking content, but this year’s batch goes beyond shocking and enters a new realm – one in which child abuse, genocide, rape and murder are all seen as suitable topics of inspiration for those desperate to win a piece of plastic.
The ghoulish nature of these so-called ads, have nothing to do with creativity. If anything, they only serve to undermine any genuinely good work entered into the awards and devalue any worth winning might have had to an individual or an agency.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some sort of easily offended puritan and I can appreciate a shocking ad as well as anyone else, so long as it’s effective and done with “sincerity, integrity and sympathy,” to paraphrase John Hegarty. But these ads achieve nothing. All they do is provide ‘trolls’ with a platform to exploit the suffering of others under the guise of creative liberty.
Seriously, with all of the talent that exists within the advertising industry, is this what we’ve been reduced to – bathroom wall scribbles that make a joke out of decades of child abuse?