Media agency did not book Panasonic’s Cannes Lions winning ad campaign

The media agency which normally buys advertising on behalf of Panasonic has said it did not book any space for the ads that won Australia a rare silver Press Lions in Cannes this month.

Saatchi & Saatchi Panasonic Cannes Lion work

One of the Saatchi & Saatchi Panasonic ads

Although brand ads are usually booked through the media agency, Mat Baxter, CEO of UM Australia, after being approached by Mumbrella said that his agency had not done so.

Baxter’s comments comes after readers raised questions with Mumbrella on whether the ads had run in mainstream media.

A constant issue in international awards are “scam” ads, created in order to win advertising awards rather than to solve a business problem. Scam ads either do not run in media at all or are placed cheaply in a minor publication to reach minimum entry requirements.

When approached by Mumbrella Baxter said: “We have reviewed the winning Cannes print work for Panasonic and can confirm that UM did not book any Australian media activity featuring the creative material in question. It is important to note that Panasonic or Saatchi & Saatchi themselves may have booked media space without our knowledge and we would encourage you to reach out directly to both of them for ultimate confirmation.”

Saatchi & Saatchi Panasonic Cannes Lion workPanasonic, and Saatchi & Saatchi has so far declined to disclose where, or if, the three ads – Blissful Dog, Confused Dog and Windblown Dog – ran. Advertising tracking company Ebiquity was also unable to find any trace of them having run in Australia.

Earlier this month, after Mumbrella asked both Panasonic and Saatchi & Saatchi specifically about where the ads ran, the agency 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.”

it did not respond to further requests for clarification.

Saatchi & Saatchi Panasonic Cannes Lion work

One of the Saatchi & Saatchi award winning Panasonic ads

It has also emerged that the campaign bears remarkable similarities to a campaign which won gold in the print category of an internal Volkswagen awards in 2009.

polo air conditioning

The 2009 award winner

Questions have also been asked about DDB Sydney which picked up a bronze in the press category for its Big Mac Legends work for McDonald’s although commenters later suggested that it had not followed the usual brand guidelines. It too has declined to release details around where the campaign ran.

OMD, the agency which handle’s McDonald’s media planning and buying, had not responded to Mumbrella’s inquiries at the time of posting.

Cannes Lions is yet to respond to repeated inquiries from Mumbrella regarding the campaigns.

Miranda Ward


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