Cannes Lions Policy on Fake Ads: Stereotypically French

By Matt Van Hoven 

In recent weeks, the major award-giving bodies of the ad industry have revamped their rules regarding fake or scam ads. The ADC was particularly harsh, stating “your secret is NOT safe with us“. The OneClub has a sliding scale, delineating increasingly severe punishment for different infractions. They both place blame the agency though, which is a point you’ll want to remember &#151 because Cannes says its your fault.

Cannes Lions issued their statements on the same day as the ADC, and wow are they weak. Leave it to the French advertising award show to, you know, not have balls &#151 rather a satchel where they store the money they get from agencies participating in their program. What once was a lion is now a sickly cub:

“We believe that banning agencies from entering on a wholesale basis is unfair on blameless individuals. There are many people who work in agencies who may not be involved with an erroneous entry and therefore should not be penalised. Our policy will be to ban the individuals named on the credit list if a scam is discovered.”

Convenient! Banning an agency would undoubtedly cost the Lions some much needed moola. Recall, a single film entry brought in nearly $1000 this year. Too bad many fewer shops participated. But, seriously, what the hell are they doing with that money and why wouldn’t the world’s foremost advertising competition take a stand against the agencies? Two plausible answers:

A) they can’t afford not to
B) they can’t afford not to

The Cannes folks want you to know that they feel their job is “to set the benchmark for creativity in communications, to celebrate creativity and to reward the industry for outstanding creative work.” Actually, that’s the role of the advertisers who provide the creative, and the other creatives who judge that work. It’s a two way street, and Cannes is nothing more than cobblestone.

Let’s not forget that the majority of the work celebrated at Cannes has already won tons of stuff elsewhere. Meaning: the benchmark is set by the ADC, OneClub, ANDYs et al.

Though the Cannes Lions are lauded as the highest mark in advertising, at some point we have to ask “why?” As of this moment they certainly aren’t deserving such a title, given their incapability to better the business &#151 to level the playing field to include only the work that was truly produces.

Rather, they promote the same snake-oil-sales tactics that have given this business a bad name. This is me spitting in their general direction (doubly insulting due to this damn head cold).

Via CannesLionsPress

More:ADC Issues its Own Scam Ad Statement