For a case study on how to run a drinks writing competition, the Franschhoek Literary Festival should climb down from their wooden rocking horses and consult with Brandhouse who run the Responsible Drinking Media Awards.
For starters, prize money is nearly quadruple the R25,000.00 offered by the prickly rodent. An amount which has not increased in five years, even if it is such a lavish sum for John Maytham he was unable to find anything worthy to lavish it upon. After all, 25K must be the equivalent of a couple of voice overs. Silence from Canuck Chris and the French Hope as the prize does not sound quite so grand in dollars or euros.
Brandhouse also spell out criteria for their awards:
“Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
• Ability to highlight profile and engage with the issues around responsible drinking;
• Approach to the various responsible drinking campaigns;
• Level of support (balance between quality and frequency of articles); and
• Level of influence (creating awareness, challenging target audiences, encouraging change).”
But then the level of professionalism from Brandhouse – distributors of Johnnie Walker – shows up Franschhoek as a bunch of amiable amateurs with some of the sillier trappings of France. No wonder Scotch imports are worth double SA wine exports.
As for my own entry for the responsible drinking awards, I can think of no better example of the irresponsible promotion of alcohol than the Franschhoek Wine Writers Award 2013 which has done immense harm to the image of SA wine and the careers of those misguided hacks who entered a booby trapped competition in good faith.