PR firms inch closer to the top prize at Cannes

CANNES, FRANCE: PR agencies walked away with more Gold and Silver awards at the 2013 Cannes PR Lions than in previous years, but advertising firms still led the way during Monday's awards ceremony.

CANNES, FRANCE: PR agencies walked away with more Gold and Silver awards at the 2013 Cannes PR Lions than in previous years, but advertising firms still led the way during Monday's awards ceremony.

“The PR industry made a lot of progress this year,” said David Gallagher, senior partner and CEO for EMEA at Ketchum and chair of the PR Lions jury. “We submitted more entries, got more shortlisted, and achieved more winners.”

However, he added that the entries from “pure PR agencies were not quite as ambitious as the ad agency ideas,” and that joint entries from PR and marketing firms did best. Gallagher added that he'd be “surprised if a PR agency doesn't win the Grand Prix in the next year or two.”

PR and ad agency team Ketchum Pleon Berlin and BBDO Germany Düsseldorf won a Gold Lion for its Tree Concert environmental program for nonprofit Friends of the Earth Germany.

Weber Shandwick's London office won a Gold Lion for its We Believe in D&T – Averting a Crisis initiative for the Design and Technology Association. UK-based Golden Goose PR also won a Gold Lion for its Putting Sea Containers on the Map effort for The Deerbrook Group.

Weber also took an agency credit for its role in another Gold Lion winner: Mondelez International's Oreo Daily Twist entry from Draftfcb. 

On the winning work, Jennifer Scott, global MD of strategy and planning at Ogilvy Public Relations and a member of the judging panel, said: “Strong content must seriously connect with the social environment in which you are operating.”

“It must achieve amplification without having to rely on paid media,” she added.

Ogilvy won a total of 13 Lions, including four Gold, six Silver, and three Bronze.

Crisis, corporate communications, and internal communications were all a little weak in terms of PR agency submissions, Scott added.

“We have to encourage more PR agencies to enter work in the areas of corporate reputation, crisis, and lobbying, because that's where we really shine,” she added.

A Silver Lion was awarded to PR-advertising team Frank PR Sydney and Havas Worldwide Australia North Sydney for their Durexperiment Fundawear work for Reckitt Benckiser. India's Publicis Communications Gurgaon won a Silver Lion for Adopt a Pothole Project for Apollo Tyres.

Edelman London received two Silver Lions for its work with Microsoft on the Experience: Halo for Halo 4 campaign. Australian PR firm Red Agency Sydney also won a Silver Lion for its The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented effort for the Save Our Sons & Duchenne Foundation. Edelman also received an agency credit for its work on the Gold Lion-winning The Candidate campaign for Heineken International.

The Red Consultancy in London also received an agency credit for Samsung's We Are David Bailey Gold Lion-winning campaign for Cheil UK.

Ad-PR team One Green Bean Sydney and Havas Worldwide Australia North Sydney earned a Silver Lion for its Fair Go Bro effort for Virgin Mobile Australia.

US agency Havas PR New York won a Bronze Lion for its Making a New Holiday Tradition: #GivingTuesday initiative, which was inspired by nonprofit community and cultural center 92nd Street Y and supported by the United Nations Foundation.

Ketchum Los Angeles and Ketchum Washington also earned Bronze Lions. The Los Angeles office won the award for its Farmers & Ranchers Answer the Tough Questions campaign for the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. Ketchum Washington received the Lion for its work with Dr. Pepper Snapple Group on its McKayla Maroney is Finally Impressed…With 7UP Ten initiative.

The Grand Prix went to ad agency McCann Melbourne for its Dumb Ways to Die campaign for Metro Trains.

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