Creative Competitions (and Not-So-Creative Scams)

Everyone in the creative biz knows that part of the game is entering (and winning) creative contests–like the American Advertising Federation’s Addy Awards or IABC’s Gold Quill Awards. Some of these contests (including these two) are legit, and truly do reward excellence in communications, writing, and design. Receiving such an award is an honor — even if you have to pay anywhere from $25 to $125 to enter the competition.
However, the number of contests out there seems to be proliferating, and some look to be little more than scams. For example, I recently received a mailer for the so-called “Media Achievement Awards,” “honoring the best in media communications.”
Here are some gems from their brochure copy.

  • Our judges are award winning, fun, look forward to every competition!
  • Submissions will be judged not against other entries but on its own merit.
  • We offer two award levels of awards.
  • We value your privacy. Entries are not returned and destroyed after the judging process.

Apparently someone (who may not have English as a first language) has decided to cash in and start his own creative competition. Got an extra $50 to burn — and $175 to buy a statuette when you “win”? Send in your entry today!


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