The jury president, Craig Davis, the chief creative officer worldwide at JWT, said simply that no UK work was good enough. Work is judged with no agency or country details attached.
Jury member Damon Collins, the executive creative director at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, defended UK creative standards, however. "There's a lot of work I've seen at D&AD and other awards that wasn't entered, so far as I can tell," he said. "There is plenty of good work in the UK."
South Africa bagged the Press Grand Prix, although it submitted fewer entries than the UK, according to Philip Thomas, the Cannes Lions chief executive. An Energizer campaign by DDB Johannesburg that Davis said "spoke to a universal truth and could have come from anywhere in the world" took the top prize.
The three-strong ad campaign ("paint", "pants" and "park") beat Indian and Australian campaigns from Leo Burnett Mumbai ("Che" for Luxor Writing Instruments) and JWT Sydney ("Echidna", "Koala" and "Cockatoo" for Olympus Binoculars).
The winning campaign detailed the mischief children can get up to when the batteries on their toys run out - such as painting a dog red, showing each other their privates and gaffer-taping a friend to a playground roundabout.