So mediocre were the entries for the November newspaper ad of the month that the judges decided not to pick a winner. They didn't even hand out any merit certificates.
“There was a lot of mediocre work and nothing seemed to stand out,” said the judges Nigel Corbett (Sugar), Luke Chess (Saatchi & Saatchi) and Steve McCabe (Freelance Creative).
Lexie Ribot, creative manager at the Newspaper Advertising Bureau, says it's not particularly unusual for no winner to be announced. Last year, for example, only eight finalists (from 11 months of judging) ended up vying for the $10,000 ad of the year prize.
"The judges are asked to be quite tough. We are trying to raise the standard of work. So we don't want to choose something that the judges aren't comfortable putting their name to," she says,
Rather than focus on November's newspaper ad mediocrity, however, she's looking at the positives: it's the first 'no-win' month this year and the existing finalists now have a better chance of winning the $10,000 Newspaper Ad of the Year.
"There's some good creative work coming through, but just not this month," she says.
Any ad that's run in any newspaper around the country is eligible to enter. So email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of the work you want entered. The winning creative team from each month receive $250 cash and the ad is sponsored by the NAB into the 2010 Axis Awards.
To view all the finalists in the current Newspaper Ad of the Year series head to the NAB website.
And just in case you were losing faith in the art of print advertising, feast your eyes on these doozies from around the world.