New award alert: One Show honors agency-client relationships with Penta Pencil

As client loyalty wanes, a prize for partnerships that survive five years

The One Show is introducing a new award for 2016 that honors long-lasting agency-brand relationships. The Penta Pencil will be given to the partnership that has consistently produced the best creative work for five years straight.

"Much of the best creative work out there comes from brands that have great longstanding relationships with their agencies, and it’s important to acknowledge that," said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club, the non-profit group that produces The One Show, in a release. "The agency becomes so embedded within the brand, so trusted as a partner, that the tandem is able to strike a chord that keeps resonating with its target audience."

To win the Penta, an agency must have produced at least one prize-worthy piece of advertising for the client for each of the past five years. Though the design of the Penta has not yet been finalized, a spokesman said the current plan was to make it the first black pencil in the One Show’s arsenal.

"In an industry that constantly celebrates short-term gains, we thought it would be great to recognize the brand and agency partnerships that have been bringing exceptional work year after year," said Ted Royer, Droga5 CCO and One Club Board member. "It's a recognition of stamina and commitment as well as creativity,"

The Penta is not the only major new prize to be featured on the awards circuit this year. The Cannes Festival of Creativity recently announced the debut of the Music Lion and the Entertainment Lion, a prize honoring work that amounts to "unskippable creativity."

Though agencies may be thankful for an opportunity to honor long-lasting relationships in an age of fading client loyalty, the expansion of awards shows—and awards shows themselves--have lately come under criticism. Last week, Amir Kassaei, chief creative officer of DDB Worldwide, announced his agency would be stepping back from awards shows in 2016, saying they skewed industry priorities and compelled agencies to act unethically. Though other creative directors were quick to agree with Kassaei, no other agency has announced an intention to pull back.

The Penta will be given at the 43rd Annual One Show Awards, which will take place in New York City on May 11 and 13. Though the general deadline for submitting entries to the One Show is Jan. 29, entries for the Penta will be accepted until Feb. 26.

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