Two creative agencies behind Cannes Lions winning print advertising campaigns have been unable to answer questions about where they ran, with one citing client confidentiality and the other not answering.
Mumbrella asked about the work after questions were raised by readers about whether it had run. Advertising tracking service Ebiquity was unable to find any record of the ads having run in the mainstream press.
The winning work in the Press Lions category came from Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney for Panasonic which won silver and from DDB Sydney for McDonald’s which won bronze.
The issue of agencies creating “scam” campaigns specifically to win awards rather than to solve a client brief has been regularly debated in recent years. In some instances agencies pay for an ad to run in a small circulation title in order to make a campaign eligible. However, Mumbrella is not suggesting this was the case on these occasions.
Panasonic referred questions about its campaign back to Saatchi & Saatchi who issued the following statement:
“The Panasonic Nanoe TM technology for Automotive Airconditioners is one of the most innovative technologies used in the automotive industry. We (Saatchi & Saatchi) developed the dog print ads campaign as a project for Panasonic to demonstrate the benefit of fresher air through this technology in an engaging way that everyone can relate to. The print campaign ran in March and April.”
Another ad which Mumbrella has been unable to find evidence of having run came from DDB Sydney which picked up a bronze for its Big Mac Legends Darth Vader and Superman executions.
The agency and McDonald’s had not responded to Mumbrella’s questions – first sent at 10.20 yesterday morning – at the time of posting, saying they could not yet give an answer.
In 2008 DDB Sydney apologised for entering work in the Cannes Lions that had only ran as a small single column spot on the back page of local Sydney newspaper the Manly Daily in order to meet awards entry criteria.
Amir Kassaei, global creative chief officer of DDB, told Mumbrella, during its annual conference Mumbrella360, that he is not against scam as long as the majority of an agency’s output is genuine.
“It is our responsibility to look for ideas that might not be realistic at the moment. But the majority of the work should be solving real problems with genuine ideas,” Kassaei said.
“At Cannes, there are winners with real work for real clients. But the majority of winners are not real,” he said.
Saatchi & Saatchi’s Blissful Dog/Confused Dog/Windblown Dog
The McDonald’s Superman ad from DDB:
The only other Australian winner in the category came from Leo Burnett Sydney, which won a silver on behalf of WWF. The ads ran in Time magazine.
Mumbrella will update this story if the agencies or brands choose to share more information.
1.30pm UPDATE: McDonald’s has issued a statement, here it is in full:
“We were really pleased with the Big Mac Legends campaign which was rolled out across outdoor and radio in addition to print placements.
Like most well known legends, The Big Mac is now instantly recognisable simply by its seven famous ingredients. The McDonald’s Big Mac Legends campaign underlines this by placing famed legends, such as Darth Vader and Superman, side-by-side McDonald’s biggest legend. The creative however does not include names, just each legend’s distinguishable ingredients because after all, when you know the ingredients, you know the legend.”