Four letters, F-O-U-L.
It wasn’t that long ago that I would look for the companies winning awards and use that as my measure of brand excellence. Half a decade later and the facade merely amuses me. Why the strong view? Why would I shit on any brand’s parade? Well, simply put – awards can now be BOUGHT. Don’t believe me? Here is a list of all the sponsors of the 2022 Safety In Beauty Awards who also happened to win a “prestigious” award:
- Artemis – sponsor & winner of Best Universal Product Award For Aesthetics 1
- Emerald Laser – sponsor & winner of Best Aesthetic Technology Award 1
- Clinisept – sponsor & winner of Best Universal Product Award For Aesthetics 2
- Derma Medical – sponsor & winner of Best Education & Training
- Sofwave – sponsor & winner of Innovation and Pioneering Award
- InMode – sponsor & winner of Best Aesthetic Technology Award 2
- Teoxane – sponsor & winner of Best Injectable Product
- Aesthetic Source – sponsor & winner of Best Topical Skincare Award
Now, I’m not casting any aspersions on the winning brands as I know many of them to be stellar, however, a little more research will also reveal that many of these brands were the only sponsor in their sub-category. So, the awards were, quite literally, there for the taking. Bear in mind, that this was the Safety In Beauty awards (emphasis on Safety) and you can quickly realise how foul this can all become. For many practitioners, this is their ‘gold standard’ and an important way for them and patients to pick brands to use. Unfortunately, seeing this gives me Eurovision Song Contest vibes; you know, the hosts tend to do PRETTY well…”fun” as it is to watch, it isn’t the most meritocratic set up. I hasten to add, these particular awards are not unique, and the issue of ‘partiality’ happens across awarding bodies far too often.
Sadly, the knock on effect is that we have one less trusted measure of knowing what’s what and it creates a cloud over what is typically a great institute – award ceremonies. The answer? I’m not entirely sure yet, but a TRULY open voting system may be the way and could reinstate not just trust from the industry but also authentic value to the winners.