Kuala Lumpur, 8 January 2016:     Following a thorough investigation, the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As) has unanimously decided to disqualify a number of Kancil Awards won by a member agency, Dentsu Utama, as their winning works were deemed sufficiently close to works created in the United Kingdom and Sweden.

The creative work submitted for “Cross River Gorilla”, an anti-poaching campaign for World Wildlife Fund in Indonesia, and “Professional Man”, an internet privacy awareness campaign for Web Privacy Watch, contained almost identical images to the foreign works. The foreign work were posted in public ahead of the date of publication, as notified in the entry submission by Dentsu Utama.

“An investigation was initiated by the 4As following various complaints of the obvious similarities to the original creations,” says Tan Kien Eng, Creative Council Chairman and CEO of Leo Burnett. “This action is being taken to remedy a contentious situation while upholding the principles of eligibility for the Kancil Awards.”

According to Tan, all awards won in relation to the aforementioned  work will be disqualified given the sufficiently close similarities. The  original creators have also shown proof that their works were posted much earlier.

“We take a serious view of work that are deemed sufficiently close to works created originally elsewhere,” Tan notes. “We must maintain a high level of integrity and credibility as the industry’s official body in Malaysia. The decision to disqualify the awards for both creative works was not taken lightly as we had explored all possible scenarios. In the end, the facts were overwhelmingly in favour of the  original creators.”

The Kancil Awards, acknowledged as Malaysia’s largest and most prestigious advertising awards competition, is organised annually to recognise creative excellence in advertising in the country. This year was the 20th anniversary of the Kancil Awards. Prior to 1995, the awards was known as the 6As Awards.