Cannes Adds PR Lions

NEW YORK The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival has added another competition to its 2009 lineup, the PR Lions, and has named Tim Bell, chairman of Chime Communications, chair of the inaugural jury.
According to event organizers, the new contest will honor “the creative use of reputation management by the building and preservation of trust and understanding between individuals, businesses or organizations and their publics.”
Entries will be evaluated based on strategy, creativity and originality, execution and results. Winners will be honored in Cannes on June 22 with the Direct and Promo Lions.
“Launching PR at Cannes has been on our radar for quite a while and as with any new category we introduce, it takes time to prepare to the standard we expect and is expected of us,” said Philip Thomas, CEO of the festival, in a statement. “The time is now right.”
The U.K.-based Bell helped establish the Saatchi & Saatchi agency in 1970. He became deputy chairman of The Lowe Group in 1985 and bought out its communications division, Lowe Bell Communications, in 1989.
Bell successfully ran the publicity campaigns for the Conservative Party in 1979, 1983 and 1987 and was knighted in 1990.
“I’m honored to chair the first ever PR jury,” said Bell. “The new category will greatly enhance the celebration of communications that is Cannes Lions.” 

Chime Communications is the holding company which owns Bell Pottinger Communications, formerly Lowe Bell, and its sister agency VCCP.
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