IAF Changes Titanium Lion Requirements Again

NEW YORK For the second time in its three-year existence, the Titanium Lion is being recast by the International Advertising Festival.

The organization is eschewing last year’s rigid definitions and instead opening up the award to all types of advertising. There will be no minimum or limit to the type of media used in a campaign, and there are no budget or category restrictions. There is also no set number of how many Lions the Titanium jury will award. A Titanium Grand Prix may or may not be awarded.

The looser requirements are similar to the ones created when the Titanium Lion was introduced in 2003, but are in sharp contrast with last year’s guidelines, which recast the Titanium award as more of an integrated prize. Those rules required that a campaign under consideration use at least three distinct communication channels, and specified that Titanium Lions would be presented in four different media budget categories.

The budget categories were ultimately disregarded during judging last year, and the Titanium Lion was awarded to four campaigns: Honda’s “Grrr” by Wieden + Kennedy in London; Mini Cooper’s “Counterfeit” from Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami; Virgin Mobile’s “5 Cent” by Host in Sydney, Australia; and Volvo’s “Life on Board Project” from Fuel Europe in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Debating that year was contentious. The head of the Titanium jury, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners co-founder Jeff Goodby, even said after the awards that he would suggest to the IAF that it revert to the original form of judging, rather than centering it on integration. This is basically what the IAF has now ordered.

“Integration is not hard to do. That in and of itself is not enough; it’s a box that you check” of media channels, Goodby said at the time. “That is not what this jury is here to reward” [Adweek, June 27].

When introduced in 2003, the Titanium Lion was established to honor work that had a big idea but did not fit into any category neatly. It was given to BMW Films that year.

This year’s International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France, will be held June 18-24.