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Japan shines again in PR Lions

Japan has once again led from the front for Asia at Cannes, winning the region’s only gold award in the PR Lions.

‘Rice-code’ for Inakadate Village, which involved different strains of coloured rice planted to form arty images in rice fields in a campaign to boost production of the crop, won gold for Japanese agency Hakuhodo.

The win for Japan is the third gold for the country on the first day of Cannes, after Dentsu claimed golds in the Promo & Activation and Direct categories.

‘Rice-code’ won a PR Lions silver too, and Hakuhodo Japan’s ‘Hands on search’ campaign for Yahoo! also claimed silver.

The other success story in the category was India.

Ogilvy India’s ‘Google Reunion’ campaign claimed Asia’s other silver PR Lion.

Bronze PR Lions went to ‘No child brides’ for Child Survival India by Havas Worldwide and Ogilvy India’s ‘Message barter’ campaign for The Akanksha Foundation.

The Grand Prix was won by the US Chipotle Mexican Grill The Scarecrow campaign.

Debate in the jury room turned to whether advertising agencies were still outshining PR specialists in the category, with Edelman’s Chipotle work the first time the winner has been entered by a PR agency.

This year saw an uptick in PR agencies entering themselves, rather than as named agencies, with 37 per cent of entries from them, compared to 36 last year.

Australian juror Claire Salvetti, MD of PR agency Mango, told Mumbrella’s Australian site: “In my experience of coming from a group everything is very collaborative, it’s not about these headlines of creative agencies being front and centre, it’s more collaborative.”

“Behind every brilliant earned media campaign is a very talented earned media specialist. We are representing the craft here, and it surprises me there’s so much debate about ownership, ideas are becoming democratised.

“What we as PR people are brilliant at doing is leaving our egos at the door. For us it’s about a brilliant idea, not who owns it,” she said.

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