Cannes Report

Campaign Screen visited Cannes to discover how ad cheats are being weeded out. We also hit the streets to hear what festival-goers had to say about the people, the prizes and the parties.

Scam or ghost advertising was the hottest topic in Cannes this year.

The 48th International Advertising Festival attracted a record number of entries - well over 6,000 - but it panned out that some of these were not exactly kosher.

It's a problem that creeps into awards festivals all over the world and it's something that is worsening. Jury president, Bob Isherwood, decided this year that enough was enough:

"This is the most prestigious advertising awards show in the world and we want to keep it that way, so we have to be tough on cheats. This is the first festival to make a stand on this issue."

Isherwood uncovered a number of scam ads by means of music and talent.

There were several which could not possibly have run, simply because the client could not have afforded the music rights. Similarly, tiny clients had used major stars, again attracting suspicion because of the cost involved.

So Isherwood took the necessary steps to introduce a new measure which will name and shame offenders. The 'President's Log' will list those breaking the rules and will be handed down to consecutive jury presidents.

"Agencies will have a red flag against them and their future entries will be looked at more carefully. If they continue in this way, further steps will be taken," explained a weary Isherwood who spent three hours each evening after judging, trying to ensure fair results.

The battle for the Grand Prix was between Fox and Bear. But it was Cliff Freeman's Fox Sports' campaign that won out over Leo Burnett's 'Bear' gaining two-thirds of the jury's vote. The work, directed by Traktor, was deemed to be "overwhelmingly brilliant" by Isherwood who added that most channel advertising is notoriously bad. Meanwhile American judge, Dennis Ryan, executive creative director of JWT Chicago, said the ads were "pants-wettingly funny."

He added: "Humour was popular once again, but last year, there were a lot of sponsored jokes. This year, there was less of that. We felt that advertising is getting more intelligent."

Leo Burnett did not come away empty-handed, however. It won more than any other single agency, scooping three Golds for John West 'Bear', Heinz 'Quick' and McDonald's 'Estate Agent', 'Plumber' and 'Hansen' spots.

In fact, the UK came out on top overall winning eight of the 24 Gold Lions awarded.

J. Walter Thompson's emotive TV spot for the Special Olympics, 'Different', was singled out by the judges while other UK winners included BBH's 'Twist' for Levi's and Mother's 'Emergency' for Dr Pepper.

The US was close behind the UK. American agencies landed six Golds in total, plus the Grand Prix. The number of winners was down on last year.

The film jury awarded just 70 Lions, compared to the 101 given out in 2000. A total of 24 Gold Lions were awarded, one less than last year.

In terms of categories, car advertising proved to be unusually strong with DDB Barcelona, Arnold Worldwide and BMP DDB each winning a Gold.

A further three Silvers and two Bronzes were also given out in the category.

However, no individual country had an outstanding year although Australia put in a better performance than previous years. On the tape we talk to Australian judge Warren Brown from Brown Melhuish Fishlock, who explains the reasons why.

In addition our Cannes Report contains coverage from the press conference and an interview with UK judge Mark Tutssel. We also speak to the brave RSA directors who cycled to Cannes from London for Leuka 2000. The guys cycled the equivalent of half of Everest in one day! We also find out what the punters really thought of the whole extravagant affair.

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