Ad agency McCann Melbourne scoops Cannes PR Lions Grand Prix

Advertising agencies once again dominated the Cannes PR Lions, which were presented on Monday night, with an ad agency scooping the Grand Prix for the fifth year running.

Dumb Ways to Die: winner of Cannes Lions PR Grand Prix
Dumb Ways to Die: winner of Cannes Lions PR Grand Prix

However, PR agencies made a bigger impression in the rankings of gold winners, with Surrey-based independent Golden Goose PR, Ketchum Pleon Berlin, Ogilvy France and Weber Shandwick London picking up gongs. Edelman London, The Red Consultancy and Weber Shandwick Chicago were also credited on Gold-winning entries by Publicis Italy, Cheil UK and DraftFCB.

The Grand Prix was won by McCann Melbourne for its Dumb Ways to Die Campaign for Metro Trains. The judges said that it was an obvious winner from the first round of voting, although the Real Beauty Sketches campaign by Ogilvy Brasil for Unilever brand Dove ran a close second and the two were debated at great length.

The chair of the judges, Ketchum EMEA chief executive David Gallagher, said there was a lot of progress visible in the PR industry’s performance at this year’s awards. 'We see more entries [from PR agencies], more shortlisted and more winners, but competition is fierce. Make sure you enter your best work – I don’t see all of it here.'

Gallagher asserted that it was time for PR professionals to 'get more confident and quit worrying if we belong at Cannes. We do. We are professional communicators and we should be able to talk about our thoughtful, strategic work in a concise and compelling manner,' he continued. 'PR agencies need to enter their best work in greater numbers.'

Gallagher added that he had instructed his fellow judges to disregard the exquisitely crafted videos that trumpeted many ad agency entries and to investigate the case work and written submissions. 'The problem with some of these beautifully made videos is that when you kick the tyres of the entries, they’re pretty hollow,' Gallagher noted.

The judges whittled 800 entries down to a shortlist featuring a number of UK PR agencies before picking the winners.

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