For the past few years now, the powers that be at Cannes have allowed PR people to not only turn up, but actually enter work into the festival. It’s been a gradual creep, like the steady sinking of Venice into the Adriatic, or the acceptability of the word “LOLZ” in everyday parlance. You might have noticed us, filling up your restaurants on the Croisette, blagging our way into your parties, namedropping your client’s name loudly on our phones and, the most arriviste of all, actually using the event to make business connections rather than trying to pull young creative teams over from Brazil.
Having said that, us PR folk have got every right to be a little indignant ourselves. Since the launch of the PR Lions in 2009, the majority of our awards have been given to advertising agencies. In fact, across the board, in many categories, everyone’s work has been getting just that little bit more PR-y. From Clemenger BBDO’s excellent “NAB - Break Up” campaign to Nitro’s “Best Job in The World”, it’s the non-PR agencies that are all too often responsible for the best PR work. Even Droga’s Grand Prix winning “Decode” worked because of its earned media potential.
Now, I’m not saying that us PR guys can’t create amazing campaigns (we do win a fair few Lions ourselves) but it might be a little while yet until there’s a true parity between PRland and adland. Assuming of course that the ad agencies don’t all start launching their own PR divisions – although perhaps there is something to be said for creative teams of three: writer, art director and PR guy? Until that time, let’s make a deal – we’ll keep our voices down in the restaurants and not try it on with Isabela and Mariana, if you spend a little more time making ads.
See you in a couple of weeks,
UK Creative Director