Second search for Cannes Lion winning Panasonic and McDonald’s print campaigns draws a blank

Saatchi & Saatchi Panasonic Cannes Lion workA second media monitoring service has failed to find a trace of the Cannes Lions winning Panasonic and McDonald’s print campaigns running in Australia, with Nielsen’s Advertising Information Service (AIS) unable to locate the campaigns across the publications it monitors.

Questions have been raised about the legitimacy of campaigns, by Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney  for Panasonic in-car air conditioning and a DDB Sydney text-only ad for McDonald’s Australia,  after media monitoring service Ebiquity was previously unable to find evidence they had run. However, Nielsen noted that it does not monitor everything, and only visually verifies a portion of regional papers.

Both agencies as well as Panasonic and McDonald’s have refused to reveal where the adverts ran, whilst Cannes Lions chairman terry Savage said they are “legitimate”. Mumbrella is currently pursuing Savage for further answers on the campaigns.

Nielsen issued the following statement after checking for the campaigns:

“Nielsen’s Advertising Information Service (AIS) did not pick up these advertisements across the titles and locations that are currently monitored in their service.”

“Scam” ads are a constant issue in international awards shows, and 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.

According to Cannes policy on scam, work has to have been approved and paid for by the client and run in media space paid for by the client.

Nielsen’s monitoring covers daily newspapers across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Tasmania plus the two major national dailies, with all ads visually verified. Coverage of classified includes all display advertisements of 10 column centimetres or above, with loose inserts also monitored.

Regional daily publications are also monitored, however suburban press is not. Display ads of 40 column centimetres or above are monitored however classified are not. Nielsen also monitored 160 plus consumer magazine titles including newspaper inserted magazines with all ads visually verified.

Saatchi and Saatchi, the agency behind the Panasonic campaign, and McDonald’s agency DDB Sydney have declined to disclose where the campaigns run.

One of the Saatchi & Saatchi award-winning ads

One of the Saatchi & Saatchi award-winning ads

Panasonic’s media agency UM told Mumbrella it had not booked any ad space for the campaign. And Panasonic’s marketing boss was quoted as saying that the ad was not published in Australia and the brand had not booked the campaign.

Terry Savage, chairman of the Cannes Lions, has told Mumbrella the campaigns were “legitimate”. However, he declined to answer further questions about where they had run or if he was satisfied they had been commissioned, saying it was “not appropriate” to do so.

One of the DDB award-winning McDonald’s ads

One of the DDB award-winning McDonald’s ads

The response from Savage came after Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes posted an open letter urging the brand custodians of McDonald’s, Panasonic and Cannes Lions to answer questions around the campaigns.

Panasonic, Saatchi & Saatchi, McDonald’s and DDB are continuing to decline to disclose where their respective ads – Blissful Dog, Confused Dog and Windblown Dog; and, Darth Vader and Superman – ran.

Miranda Ward


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