Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity introduced the Holding Company of the Year award in 2011 and it immediately caught attention of all Holding Company CEOs – for some it is a must to win this award and for some it is important to win the award.
In its inaugural year, the award had gone to WPP implying that WPP agencies had won the maximum awards across categories at the Festival. Record haul of awards for its agencies in 2012 again sees WPP named Cannes Lions Holding Company of the Year.
The Media Lions controversy at the Festival, where WPP questioned the judging process of the category was also connected back to the impact the Media Lions Grand Prix to an Omnicom agency, OMD, would have on the Holding Company of the Year. Even as WPP officials insisted that an official complaint was made in context to Media Lions, Festival Chairman Terry Savage informed no complaint was made to the Festival and that in the “white heat of the Festival, Cannes Lions would not make any ad hoc statements on any category”. Savage told exchange4media, “We always go back and go through the judging process of every category and we would do the same this year as well but not in the Festival week.”
The Holding Company of the Year award is based on the total number of Cannes Lions won by holding companies’ agencies. WPP notched up 1554.5 points in the competition, followed by Omnicom with 1375.5 and Publicis Groupe with 1032.
This latest success follows the announcement earlier in the week that WPP is acquiring AKQA, the world’s leading independent digital agency, and the news that the Effie Index has rated WPP the most effective advertising holding company of 2012.
Accepting the Cannes award on behalf of the group, WPP Chief Executive Sir Martin Sorrell and WPP Worldwide Creative Director John O’Keeffe said, “It’s wonderful to retain the Holding Company of the Year award, particularly when we see the calibre of work delivered across categories from so many brilliant creative agencies the world over. Long may we push one another to greater and greater heights. We congratulate all our clients and colleagues, and indeed all this year’s winners, irrespective of company.”
Cannes Lions were won by agencies across the group, across marketing disciplines and across regions. They included, amongst many others: Black River FC, Blast Radius, CHI & Partners, Grey, JWT, Johannes Leonardo, Kinetic, Landor, MediaCom, MetropolitanRepublic, Mindshare, Ogilvy, Scholz & Friends, The Partners, Vice, VML and Y&R.
WPP agencies from 50 countries across every continent received awards. Notable wins included, amongst others, network of the year for Ogilvy, a PR Grand Prix for JWT Puerto Rico, an Outdoor Grand Prix for Ogilvy Shanghai and a Mobile Grand Prix for Johannes Leonardo (with Grow).