Aussie ad agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne wins Cannes PR Grand Prix

Which won’t make all the PR agencies who’ve shelled out zillions of euros to enter the Cannes Lions PR category very happy, especially as this is the second year the PR Grand Prix has gone to an ad agency.

Last year it was won by TBWA in the US for its Gatorade ‘Replay’ campaign.

BBDO Clemenger won for its ‘break up’ campaign for National Australia Bank which began with a spoof Tweet suggesting the bank was about to break itself up as penance for the sins of bankers in the credit crunch.

PR jury chairman Dave Senay, president and CEO of Fleishman-Hillard (a PR company) opined thus: “Excellence and creativity in public relations doesn’t have an address. We’re in an era where the labels matter less and less.

“There’s a certain amount of isolationism in our industry and the winners will be the ones, no matter what their label, who reach across the disciplines and grasp hands.”

He describes the winning campaign from Clemenger BBDO as a “sort of like conceptual jujitsu. Take the power of the competition and use it against them.”

Well it’s certainly clever to take the animus against bankers and turn it to your advantage.

The trouble with this award and those for media and lots of others that don’t actually involve ads that you can show to all and sundry is they’re really effectiveness awards and, thus, as much about the quality of the written entry as what effect they had on consumers. Or how ‘creative’ they are.

Anyway there’ll be lots of debate and controversy about this, which isn’t a bad way to start the festival.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.