Brazilian agency forced to hand back ‘scammy’ Lion wins Cannes Agency of the Year

AlmapBBDO, the Brazilian agency which was made to hand back a Cannes Lion award for “scammy” work earlier this week, has been named the Agency of the Year at the world’s largest advertising festival.

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The announcement came on the final awards night of the 2016 show, during which Y&R NZ and ColensoBBDO Auckland nabbed two of four prestigious Titanium Cannes Lions, and ClemengerBBDO Melbourne picked up five Lions for its The Boys work for Bonds.

On Friday AlmapBBDO was told to hand back a Bronze Lion it won for an Outdoor ad for pharma giant Bayer which was also accused of promoting rape culture.

The client had also distanced itself from the ad saying the agency had paid for it to run, which is against the rules of the competition, and Almap later pulled all its entries for Bayer.

BBDO’s global creative chief Dave Lubars said on stage at Cannes on Friday: “I learned last night that one of our very own agencies had a pretty scammy ad in the festival, and it won a Lion.

“I told them to return it. Because I don’t want that kind of Lion. BBDO doesn’t want that kind of Lion.”

The Agency of the Year award is given to the single agency with the most shortlists and wins in the festival.

Y&R NZ won for its McWhopper work for Burger King and Colenso’s Brewtroleum campaign for DB Breweries- where it converted left over beer yeast to fuel-grade ethanol to power cars – picked up in the category designed to recognise game changing work.

The Grand Prix in the category went to the #Optoutside campaign by Venables Bell & Partners San Francisco for REI, which saw the major retailer shut on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, telling people instead to get out and enjoy nature.

In terms of Australian companies Clemenger BBDO Melbourne enjoyed a successful day with its The Boys campaign for Bonds picking up three Silvers, two in Film and one in Integrated.

The campaign also landed a Bronze in Film Craft alongside The Works ad for Sea Shepherd Ultimate Death Scene, depicting what a whale hunt would look like if carried out on a human.

In Integrated judges did not award a Grand Prix, but handed out two Golds including one for McWhopper by Y&R NZ and two Silvers, while Brewtroleum won a Bronze.

Australian companies enjoyed success in the Film category, with production house Revolver/Will O’Rourke winning two Golds for its US work for Old Spice for Rocket Car.

Finch/VCD + WE also won Silver alongside Clems for Western Sydney University’s Deng Adut Unlimited campaign.

Bronzes were handed to DDB Sydney / Robber’s Dog Sydney / The Editors Sydney, Volkswagen Golf, The Tough Sell and The Glue Society’s work for Grey London for HSBC, 750MPH.

Overall, Australia was the seventh-ranked nation this year with 58 wins, behind New Zealand in sixth with 60, with the USA leading the way again with 328, more than twice as many as nearest rival the UK.

Ogilvy & Mather was named network of the year for the fifth year in succession, and Droga5 won Independent Agency of the Year, while holding company of the year was WPP.


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