WPP wins Holding Company of the Year; Ogilvy Best Network; AlmapBBDO Best Agency; & W+K Best Indie Agency
To cap the week of the 59th Cannes Lions Festival, winners of Film, Film Craft, Creative Effectiveness, and Titanium & Integrated Lions were awarded along with Network of the Year, Holding Company of the Year, Independent Agency of the Year, and Agency of the Year.
Holding Company of the Year, an award given to the holding company with the most awards across all categories, went to WPP with 1,219 points. Omnicom comes in at second place with 1,152 points and Publicis Groupe in third with 744 points.
Network of the Year was scooped by Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide who won 83 Lions across all categories, including 1 Grand Prix to China, 12 Gold, 20 Silver and 50 Bronze. The network has also achieved a record 305 finalists during the festival.
Independent Agency of the Year went to Wieden+Kennedy Portland. Runners up were Droga5 New York in second place and Jung von Matt Hamburg in third.
Advertising Agency of the Year was given to AlmapBBDO Sao Paulo with Wieden+Kennedy Portland in second and BBDO New York in third.
Advertiser of the Year trophy was presented to Mars Incorporated in honour of their continuous recognition of their inspirational and innovative marketing of their products whilst embracing and encouraging the creative work produced by their agencies. Bruce McColl, Chief Marketing Officer of Mars Incorporated Group accepted the award.
Block voting controversy surrounds Cannes; boycott looms
There’s an alleged block voting in the 59th Cannes lions Festival according to WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell and DDB Worldwide chief creative officer Amir Kassaei.
According to a report from The Guardian, WPP’s chief executive officer Sir Martin Sorrell believes that some juries in this year’s Cannes may have been pressured to vote for certain entries, damaging his advertising agencies’ chances of winning.
Group M, a WPP subsidiary , has made a complaint to the organizers of Cannes Festival regarding the issue over a particular award category.
“Practices of pressure on the jury by [the chairman] of the judges. There are some techniques to these things. I was at a dinner and there was lots of chatter about one of the functional areas [awards categories] where lots of pressure was put on an organisation in terms of voting,” said Sorrell in an interview with MediaGuardian, the official UK media representative in Cannes.
Sorrell did not name the category where the alleged block voting occurred. However, according to a report from The Guardian, several members of the Media Lions jury have showed stressed tempers following the scheduled winners’ press conference. The jury president of Media Lions is chaired by Mainardo de Nardis, chief executive of Omnicom-owned agency OMD Worldwide.
Out of the 107 Lions awarded this year, Omnicom garnered 25. Omnicom-owned media agency MAnning Gottlieb OMD won the Grand Prix award in Media Lions for their entry “Google Voice Search”.
DDB Worldwide creative chief officer Amir Kassaei also expressed his disappointment over the alleged bias of the jurors.
“I have been notified by no fewer than 12 jury members that people from other holding companies this week were briefed to kill Omnicom, especially BBDO, DDB and TBWA, this is a fact,” said Kassaei on an interview with Campaign Brief Asia.
In the interview Kassaei expressed disbelief over the controversy and it is undermining the value and integrity of one of the most prestigious advertising award-giving body in the world.
This controversy led Kassaei to openly talk about his agency’s Cannes boycott next year. “I’m not sure if DDB will participate in the Cannes Festival next year,” states Kassaei.
Philip Thomas, the chief executive of the Cannes Lions festival, said in a report from The Guardian: “We review the jury processes every year, but tend to make our decisions outside the white-heat of the festival itself.”