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TBWA's 'Mountain' Tops Cannes Awards

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CANNES, FRANCE TBWA\London's "Mountain" spot for Sony PlayStation 2 won the film Grand Prix at the International Advertising Festival here today.

The 22-member jury, led by Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and national creative director at WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather in India, considered two other gold Lion winners for the top prize: Bud Light's "Real Men of Genius" campaign, which salutes overlooked heroes such as "Mr. Way Too Much Cologne Wearer," from Omnicom Group's DDB in Chicago; and a spot for Unilever's Vim bleach from Zig in Toronto in which a mother-daughter conversation seen through a glass shower door looks like a prison visit.

The 60-second "Mountain," directed by Frank Budgen, follows swarms of urbanites running and trampling over each other to climb onto a growing heap of people, all trying to get to the top; the successful ones enjoy a brief moment of glory at the peak. The tagline: "Fun, anyone?" Set to Shirley Temple's "Get on Board," "Mountain" also won the Lion for excellence in music.

The U.S. won three gold Lions, down from last year's six, for "Real Men of Genius," the FedEx work from Omnicom Group's BBDO in New York and Toyota Tacoma's "Girlfriend" out of Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif. U.S. shops had 1,177 spots in the competition.

A total of 18 gold, 25 silver and 46 bronze Lions out of 5,082 entries were awarded at Saturday's ceremony at the Palais des Festivals.

After a half-dozen meetings during the week, the four jury presidents decided to withhold the Titanium Lion, added last year to recognize forward-thinking ideas. "There wasn't something as unique and innovative as BMW Films," said Cyber jury president Bob Greenberg, chairman and CEO at Interpublic Group's R/GA in New York, pointing to the Web films that won the inaugural award.

Omnicom's TBWA\Paris was named Agency of the Year. The Journalists' Award went to Nike's "Musical Chairs" out of Wieden + Kennedy in Amsterdam, and the Palme d'Or went to Hungry Man in New York.