The Dirty Secrets Of Major Competitions: Publicis And Saatchi

By SuperSpy 

Yes, yes, you all know that some shops create print and broadcast spots simply so they can enter them into competitions. Old trick right? You guys have made a ton of comments pointing fingers and we’ve tracked down one on our own. So… who is essentially creating content to make their shops look a little better?

Publicis West:
Do you know where Wenatchee, Washington is? Yeah. Why would you. However, that’s where Publicis West runs broadcast spots at like 3 in the morning, when the they just want to be able to say that, “Yes! This spot has run on the air, now consider us for the Cannes Lions!”

Not good form guys. Not at all. Randy Browning? We can’t believe you went in for this. We like you!

Saatchi and Saatchi
Meanwhile, WE HEAR THAT… Tony Granger (who Kevin Roberts is currently trying to keep from defecting to Y&R) apparently has something called the “Cannes Initiative.” It’s a huge budget set aside for the creation of ads strictly for competition entry. Yeah. That’s what you can do when you are a death star agency struggling to keep it together.

We contacted Lynne Collins, the PR head in New York, but she never got back to us about this whole racket. However, our lovely reads have a ton to say about Saatchi:
Name_required says:

“My understanding is that it’s a bit more complicated: Granger convinced P&G to actually fund the fake ads and enter them in award shows. To boost P&Gs creative reputation as well as his own.

Anti-scam says:

“Yes the rumors about Granger (and his two recently departed sidekicks) doing scam ads has been around for years. It followed them from London. Back in South Africa Granger earned the nickname Stroke because he was always adding his name onto the credits of other peoples work. It seems like the guy has an unhealthy obsession with awards and winning them at any cost and by any means.”


We also contacted Amanda over at the venerable Cannes Lions office, but no response. Lame.

Now, we know that you fab readers will have tons of comments about this. Please feel free to send them to us directly (agencyspy at mediabistro dot com) or use the tip box. We promise to post them as addendums to this article.

Sorry! But the comments section and full RSS feeds are still be worked out by the powers that be.



Comment #1: “Regarding the Saatchi/P&G articles- If the client issues a creative brief, buys a campaign, pays for its’ production and pays to run it, how is that scam? Unlike P&G’s other agencies, Saatchi didn’t just spit out mediocre work and collect a paycheck. It’s too bad people see that as a bad thing.”