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BANGKOK, Friday: New Zealand agencies stayed away in droves from Asian creative festival Adfest’s 2021 Lotus Awards – formerly one of the region’s most prestigious – held at a virtual ceremony last week.

M+AD’s combed through 40-odd PDFs containing all the results, and we can confirm that not only were there zero medals for NZ– there were no finalists, Indeed, we found no evidence of any NZ entries. Period.

There are other signs of Adfest’s waning appeal, with the judges opting not to award Golds – and even Silvers in some categories, a reflection of low entry numbers as well as their quality.

“There are too many awards shows, and agencies are becoming pretty selective.”

Several NZ agencies we spoke to this morning echoed the views of Special Group’s Tony Bradbourne: “There are so many awards shows these days, and Adfest is simply not ranked high enough.”

Mango Aotearoa’s Max Burt said: “DDB Aotearoa chose not to enter this year. There are too many global and regional awards, and agencies are becoming pretty selective.”

The Aussies did well, however, with TBWA\Sydney and Leo Burnett Melbourne both winning Grande trophies and Mindshare Sydney named Media Agency of the Year.

Ironically, TBWA\Sydney and Mindshare Sydney won the Media Lotus Grande for Tourism Play NZ.

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