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Sore losers? Or do the Cannes critics have a point?

By the time the final gold Lion was handed out there were many things for people in the ad industry to be proud of. Beautiful craft, innovative interactive films, products with a proper brand purpose and work that changed perceptions. But as adland's rose-infused bloodstream got back to normal and the bald heads began to peel, there was much more to think about than how to win more next year.

Lots of people spent Cannes week talking about whether the right work was being rewarded.That usually meant querying how 'real' charity work was and how involved agencies had really been in the winning ideas. Then there was the question of the validity of the big prizes. Excited executives had whispered conspiratorially that Omnicom might have a chance of unseating WPP after four years as the Holding Company of the Year. But it was not to be.Yet the legitimacy of that title is undermined by the disparity between the size of the groups. Michael Roth dismissed the holding company competition as a "numbers game". A measure that compares agencies' (or countries') relative size would surely help such awards retain their significance.

More serious than passing off other people's ideas as your own or how points are scored is the wider question of the purpose of Cannes. What does Cannes mean to those inside and outside the industry? Even Maurice Levy said there was a danger of Cannes Lions becoming "too big". Cannes will be back larger than ever next year.

But we should make sure it is better as well. Lest it become the advertising equivalent of something deemed too big to fail.

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Publication:Campaign Middle East
Date:Jul 12, 2015
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