12 angry media men
This year the jurors at the Media Lions judging not only had to suffer the torture of being holed up in a room for six days watching countless media case studies, there was a stand-up row.
Not unusual you might say – by all accounts the inaugural Creative Effectiveness Lions judging last year was a DNA test short of the Jeremy Kyle Show – but the spat, between Aegis and Omnicom, was indicative of wider friction across the jury members’ respective holding companies.
Rivals accused Omnicom of instigating block voting on the jury, headed by Mainardo de Nardis, the OMD Worldwide chief. Other groups tried to retaliate, with some on the jury saying independent media agencies didn’t get much of a chance of getting their work recogised.
In another twist, most of the top rated case studies were from charities. But as Media is the only category at Cannes where charity campaigns don’t qualify, the majority of the sure-fire Gold Lion winners had to be discounted.
In the end, the Grand Prix went to Google “voice search” by OMD agency Manning Gottlieb OMD. Insiders on the jury have said that the Google work, prior to all the charity work dropping out, was originally headed for a Silver Lion.
But, if the Media jury left the process with a bad taste in their mouths, they might be heartened to know it wasn’t exactly a love-in in other categories.
One jury member for the PR Lions was apparently banned for spending most of their judging time Tweeting and blogging on their mobile. Te jury is still out on quite how you’d expect anything else from a PR professional.