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OMD APAC boss: media agencies should enter creative awards

Steve BlakemanThe APAC boss of the world’s most awarded media network has said that media agencies should start entering more creative awards.

Talking to Mumbrella at the Cannes Lions today, Steve Blakeman, the Asia Pacific CEO of OMD, said that he has “no issue” with creative agencies entering media awards – as long as media agencies can compete in creative shows.

Creative agencies outnumbered media agencies on the shortlist for the Media Lions this year, with the likes of McCann, BBDO, Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi and Grey in contention for awards.

“The Media Lions are still very creative driven. And there are lot of creative agencies in the media category. I don’t have an issue with that. As long as we [media agencies] can pitch for creative categories,” he said.

“Who takes ownership of a brilliant idea should not matter,” he added.

A former Media Lions juror, Blakeman said Cannes judges look for “authenticity” above all, “not a flashy show reel.”

“It doesn’t matter how much money you through at your entry. You don’t need Steven Spielberg to direct your entry video. The best ideas always come through.”

Blakeman said that the block voting scandal from last year, which festival chairman Terry Savage played down earlier this week, was “overblown” and smacked of “sour grapes” from media networks that haven’t won many awards.

“There’s a lot of pressure on networks to win awards now. And if you don’t win, it’s easy to find a scapegoat.”

Blakeman added that the dominance of Australia of APAC at awards shows would not last.

“In four or five years, the likes of China and India will rise to compete alongside Australia. What’s important is momentum, and other Asian markets are starting to show what they can do.”

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