Media Lions to Go Solo

Organizers of the first truly global awards program for media excellence expect it to be enough of a draw to stand on its own in 2000.
The first Media Lions will be awarded in June at the weeklong Cannes International Advertising Festival in France. Starting next year, however, the media contest will be held separately in September, said Romain Hatchuel, chief executive officer of the festival.
Media is important enough to merit its own event, said Hatchuel and Paul Woolmington, president of the Media Lions jury. Besides, planning for the festival, which drew more than 8,000 attendees last year, is already a logistical challenge.
The notion of an international media award has drawn strong interest–Hatchuel’s office has fielded more than 100 calls since January.
But some observers are not sold on another layer of awards at Cannes, which most recently added Internet prizes. “Someone ought to tell them that they’re cheapening the brand,” a New York creative director said.
Others said the recognition was long overdue.
“I think it always should have been that way,” said Jonathan Bond of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners here.
Some 20 prizes will be given for using different types of media (such as TV, magazines, the Internet, cinema, etc.) and for reaching specific target audiences (housewives, kids and the “grey market”). Entry deadline is April 16.
“We’re looking for great media thinking–small or large–anywhere in the world,” said Woolmington, president of media operations at Young & Rubicam and The Media Edge. The next step: naming 11 other jurors, which could come next week.