Phuket Ad-Fest Founder Vows to Outdo Cannes

Thinks Industry Execs Will Go From Swilling Rose to Pounding Singhas in Three Years

By Published on .

As creatives have begun stretching their booze muscles in advance of downing bottle after bottle of Rose along the Croisette at the 2010 Cannes Lions advertising fest, just two weeks away, one adman, Patrick Ferrara, has launched a campaign to promote a different awards show: the Global Advertising Awards, which describes itself is an "annual awards competition honoring creative excellence in advertising worldwide that possesses a different philosophy of evaluation than any other advertising award."

Mr. Ferrara, in an article published by a Thai paper, proclaimed that the Global Advertising Awards, slated to take place in February 2011, could outdo the existing advertising awards in Cannes and become the ''world's most coveted award'' within three to five years.

The cost of entry will be lower than Cannes, he said, and the judges will be clients instead of peers. "Awards will cover print, television, radio, the Internet and other media," the article said.

Hopefully the entrants will have better, uh, "internet" skills than the festival itself, whose official website consists of a small blue butterfly and scrolling quotes about advertising by David Ogilvy, Bill Bernbach and "Unknown."

The Ad Association in Thailand is supposedly committing 16 million baht in funding to the cause, which amounts to less than $500,000, or the equivalent of a couple hotel stays. That's certainly not enough to cover the representatives from "50 of the world's top advertisers and 50 of the world's top agencies" Mr. Ferrara said he wants flown in to Phuket.

So just who is Mr. Ferrara anyway?

According to the article, he claimed the main reason he'd be able to outdo the Cannes Lions is because he helped start them. But a Cannes spokeswoman said they had never heard of him before and he mentions nothing of it on his LinkedIn page. It does, however, say he was the international director of the Clio awards for seven years.

A phone number listed for Mr. Ferrara returned a busy signal and he didn't get back to an e-mail.

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