The Scene is Set for One of the Debates of the Year: “Will Responsibility Kill Creativity?”

AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands - Has political correctness, soviet group think, and censorship gone too far, effectively killing off creativity?

That’s the question clients, agencies and journalists will be asking at the Epica Awards Creative Circle, which will take place in Amsterdam on November 15. The setting is the magnificent KIT Royal Tropical Institute, one of the city’s most remarkable buildings.

Taking part in a series of exclusive round table conversations are ABN Amro, KPN, Nuon, Philips and PWC. The agency side is represented by BETC, Cheil, DDB, Superheroes, We Are Social and Wieden + Kennedy. They are joined by journalists from titles such as Adweek, Adformatie, and Werben & Verkaufen.

The industry is embodied by opinion leaders from the EASA (European Advertising Standards Alliance), the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau), the DDA (Dutch Digital Agencies) and the VEA (the association of Dutch communications consultants).

Issues such as gender equality, sexuality, diversity, political extremism and climate change are impossible to ignore yet fraught with risks for communicators. When does purpose-driven advertising becoming “cause washing”? Is it still possible to create controversial or even non-politically correct campaigns?

Our thoughts on this matter is that political correctness has come to such a level of censorship now that it is nigh on impossible to create anything edgy or humourous without offending someone who stirs up a stink and then gets you canned. Within the advertising world, it is now a serious no no to offend, because to some people everything is now offensive, and there are massive client budgets on the line. This is a symptom of years of social programming of soviet-style group think, which has leached out onto the mainstream media, and the advertising world.

The media will no doubt report on the event’s key findings. Students from the New School Amsterdam will also be present at the event, which is backed by partners Adobe, Euronews, Screenvision and the EASA.

Meanwhile, there are still places available for the Epica Awards ceremony itself, from 7pm on November 14, when the Royal Tropical Institute will become the stage for a celebration of the world’s best creative work, as voted by the unique press jury of the Editors’ and Publishers’ International Creative Awards.

More information here.