WPP reclaims Cannes bragging rights as 2016 holding company of the year

Ogilvy Mumbai's 'Make love not scars'

Ogilvy Mumbai’s Lion-winning work for Make love not scars

WPP was the most awarded holding company at Cannes for the sixth year in a row.

The owner of Ogilvy, Y&R, Grey and J. Walter Thompson can now claim to lead the industry this year for four key awards shows – the Effies, the Warc 100 and The One Show as well as Cannes.

The big winners from APAC in the South of France this year included Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok with ‘Behind the leather’ for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Y&R Auckland’s ‘McWhopper’ for Burger King and Ogilvy Mumbai’s ‘Beauty Tips By Reshma’ for charity Make Love Not Scars.

I Sea appThis year’s Cannes Lions festival did not begin well for WPP when an app created by Grey Singapore to help refugees was called out as a fake by tech writers and it was pulled from the App Store. Grey has defended the ‘I Sea’ app, saying it in “testing mode” and Cannes has backed it, so it would have contributed to WPP’s final awards tally.

In a statement from the company, WPP’s founder and CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, said: “In my cricketing career I have rarely, if ever, hit a six. This is the most gratifying one of the few. Although this award is handed to WPP, it is really testament to the ability, effort and success of the people within our agencies all around the world, and the good judgement of the clients who commission the work. So congratulations and thank you to them. I would also like to say, for the benefit of our colleagues across Europe, both within and beyond WPP, that although the UK has voted to leave the EU, WPP has not. We are as European as ever, and will become even more so.”

The company’s global creative director, John O’Keefe, added: “As we look across all the wonderful work that has rightly been recognised this week, I can only think, what a force for persuasion we make. Note to self: the competition for the coveted Creative Holding Company of the Year award gets more intense every year. My congratulations to all the winners and indeed all the great clients who bought this brilliant work. As ever in Cannes, The Big Idea is The Big Winner. And always will be.”


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