Last week the Oslo office of the Danish ferry company DFDS had an open pitch for new creative agencies. It was an open invitation, quite normal, and 80 agencies participated and 12 were invited to the presentation.
But here comes the funny part (or tragic – depending on who you ask). DFDS decided to invite one of Norways leading business Newspapers to attend the presentation, something the 12 agencies was informed about.
But when the Newspaper (Dagens Næringsliv – link in Norwegian), decided to write the article in a manner that really would suit Idol or X-Factor, the whole thing ended up as a farce.
How would you feel if your team presented an idea and just negative comments from the “judges” (marketing people and director of DFDS in Norway) were quoted by the paper?
The whole thing kicked of a mega buzz in social medias from many agencies in Norway. And today it reached our neighbour country Sweden where the online newspaper Resumé has this heading: “Crisis in the Norwegian advertising industry” (Article in Swedish).
I can’t imagine what DFDS was thinking about when they invited a Newspaper to their pitch. I fully understand the reaction from the agencies and that they feel humiliated. To all of you in the creative industry – You got my vote on this one!
When the DFDS director was asked by Resumé.se if she understood the criticism they got afterwards her response was: “I do not want to involve myself in a industry debate but I have to smile when the industry’s commitment about this is so strong, I am humbled and a bit proud that we have so many eyes on us”.
In the original article she said the reason for why they where doing the pitch was not because their existing agencies was doing a good job, but the problem is that Norwegians in general still associate DFDS with empty vodka bottles and wobbly dancing.
Well, maybe they should do something with their product first? And I think that the slogan “Drunk before Færder*” still suites them well…
*Færder is a lighthouse at the start of the Oslo fjord. A beautiful place by the way…