The Editor's Cut

This time 50 years ago, the Italian agency Ferry Mayer was collecting the first ever Cannes Grand Prix. It was for a toothpaste commercial.

Something tells me that despite Procter & Gamble marketers attending the festival this year - and then having a debrief at its close - it's going to be some time before toothpaste hits the big time again.

The statistics relating to Grand Prix winners during the past half century make for interesting reading. Only once in its history has no award been granted. Jury chairman Barry Day of McCann and Co claimed that no single entry was head and shoulders above the gold entries.

It's a contentious standpoint, but one senses that Dan Wieden, this year's chairman, would not shy away from taking such a stance, if truly necessary. He recently remarked that he was looking for truly fresh thinking and, like many, was perturbed by the 'addyness' of ads.

In terms of the most successful country, the US is in a league of its own. It has won the Grand Prix 25 times, almost 50% of the total awarded; the UK lags behind with 10 Grand Prix's followed by France with nine. Sweden, Italy and Japan have four each, Spain three with remaining countries winning only once. And obviously there are a vast number with nul points.

It will be interesting to see the results of the Titanium - a new award, this year. This will go to work in any category that causes the industry to stop in its tracks and reconsider the way forward. It was the initiative of Dan Wieden.

Let's only hope he finds something worthy of such praise.