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Cannes Lions to review credit amendment policy after WPP-Omnicom row

cannes lions logoCannes Lions has responded to a row among the industry’s two most powerful players over who should be given credit for awards won.

The row began after Omnicom claimed that the media unit of rival WPP, GroupM, had over-claimed the number of awards it had won in a statement it released after the awards.

OMD’s global CEO Mainardo de Nardis said that GroupM had inflated its tally by claiming that companies involved in the winning campaigns – but that were not specified in the original competition entry – should count towards its overall total.

OMD Australia was officially named Media Agency of the Year by Cannes, which Omnicom Media Group’s APAC CEO Cheuk Chiang described as one of the biggest stories in media in an interview with Mumbrella last week.

As a result of the dispute, the festival has said it will review its credit amendment policy next year.

The festival said in a statement:

9 July 2013 – Following the recent claims made by various media agencies about the volume of Lions won in Cannes, the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity wishes to make clear its position.

Cannes Lions recognises the leading media agency with the award of Media Agency of the Year. That is the only official award it gives as it relates to a media agency compilation, and in 2013 it was awarded to OMD Sydney.

Various companies have made claims about the number of Lions they were involved in winning, in doing so they may not have been the entrant company but would have been named in the secondary credits. Under the Cannes Lions Festival rules, these credits may be changed post Festival if the entrant company is in agreement with the proposed change.

To date all claims that have been made have been validated by the Festival based on the entrant company being contacted and agreeing to the credit amendment. However, to clarify future claims of the number of Lions won, Cannes Lions will be reviewing the credit amendment policy.

Media is proving to be Cannes Lions’ most controversial category. Last year, allegations emerged of block voting by agencies within the same holding company, a concern the event’s chairman Terry Savage played down in an interview with Mumbrella last month.

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