Failure to award Grand Prix in Branded Content sparks controversy

The Branded Content and Entertainment jury failed to award a Grand Prix at last week's Cannes Lions, despite handing out 11 gold Lions.

Cornetto cupidity: won a silver Lion in Branded Content for Mofilm London and The Audience Londonon
Cornetto cupidity: won a silver Lion in Branded Content for Mofilm London and The Audience Londonon

The controversial decision sparked anger in the audience at Saturday’s award ceremony, with audible hissing. The Film Craft jurors had also failed to award a Grand Prix earlier in the evening.

The jury member Olivier Gers, the global president, LiquidThread, defended the decision and said: "Out of the almost 1,200 entries, we shortlisted less than eight per cent and gave 11 gold that each represented the excellence we were looking for.

"This rigour in the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of the work should set the bar for the industry for years to come, and allow it to evolve as needed.

"Judging by the time spent this morning in the press conference to discuss the Grand Prix, I'm really happy we shone a light on these great pieces of work instead of selecting just one almost perfect one."

The UK received two silver Lions, including one for Unilever’s "Cornetto cupidity", entered by Mofilm London and The Audience London, and one for "D Rose jump store" by TBWA/London for Adidas.

There were seven bronze Lions for UK entrants, including two for the "Sapeurs documentary", created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO for Diageo’s Guinness. AMV BBDO also won a bronze for "Christmas in a day" for Sainsbury’s.

The Branded Content jury also awarded bronze Lions to Bartle Bogle Hegarty London for "generation astronaut" for Unilever Lynx, PHD London for "the Lego ad-break" and Ogilvy & Mather for "travel your tweet interesting" for Expedia.

The 11 gold Lions included Chipotle’s "The Scarecrow" by Creative Artists Agency, "sweetie" by Lemz for Terre Des Hommes Netherlands and "Bob Dylan like a rolling stone" by Interlude for Sony Music.

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