The winners of the PR awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity were announced this week. As in previous years, ad agencies dominated the field, with the Grand Prix going to Australia's Clemenger BBDO for a campaign for National Australia Bank.
Among US firms, Ogilvy & Mather took home Gold and Silver Lions for their work with IBM, while TBWA won a Gold Lion for their work with Keep a Child Alive. Bronze Lions were awarded to BBH for the New York City Rescue Mission campaign and the Kaplan Thaler Group for their work with Aflac.
Last week, Dave Senay, president and CEO of Fleishman-Hillard and the PR jury president at Cannes this year, blogged about his experiences at the festival for PRWeek. Today, he commented on some of the final results, particularly the continued prominence of ad firms in the top categories.
“As in the previous two years, the ad agencies won many of the awards. There is a lesson to be learned here,” Senay said. “The PR agencies have to wake up, become less isolated and reach across the disciplines and begin integrating in more powerful ways.”
According to Senay, PR firms aren't presenting enough materials based around the core communications principles that distinguish PR from other, similar fields.
“It was a bit disappointing to see so few high quality entries from PR departments and agencies in core areas of public relations: corporate communications, internal communications, healthcare, environmental, and public affairs, crisis and issues,” he added. “This is the area with the single most promise for helping ‘PR' close the gap with ‘advertising.'”