WPP wins Cannes ‘holding company of the year’ lion – now there’s a turn-up

WPP has won the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity’s first lion for holding company of the year, which won’t come as a great surprise to many people as it was almost certainly WPP’s idea in the first place.

So let’s hand the microphone to WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell.

“On Saturday in Cannes, WPP was awarded a Lion as the number one Holding Company in the industry by a considerable margin. This is the first time that the award has been made. We are proud of this industry-leading achievement. Thanks to all our clients and to every one of the 146,000 WPP people for making this happen. Congratulations to the people of WPP and our family of companies on this great achievement.”

Actually it wasn’t that big a margin, WPP scored 1,219 points ahead of Omnicom with 1,152 and Publicis with 744 points.

More traditionally, Almap BBDO in Sao Paulo won agency of the year followed by Wieden+Kennedy Portland and BBDO New York. BBDO (not surprisingly) won network of the year followed by Ogilvy & Mather and DDB.

Wieden Portland won independent agency of the year ahead of triple Grand Prix winner Droga5 and German agency Jung von Matt while Jung won the media agency of the year ahead of media Grand Prix winner Cheil from Seoul and Ogilvy Argentina.

But arguably WPP’s outstanding performer was JWT which picked up a press Grand Prix for Samsonite and a lots of other awards besides. The acid test for JWT now is build on this now that worldwide creative director Craig Davis has decamped to Publicis Mojo.

He’ll have CEO Maurice Levy on the phone asking him to get back on aeroplane very soon.

A relieved man will be WPP global creative director John O’Keeffe who wouldn’t have been very popular if WPP had failed to win.

So are we being unreasonably curmudgeonly about WPP’s lion? Don’t think so, WPP is the biggest marcoms company with by far the biggest number of constituent companies and, indeed, employees.

So it should win really.

Does the new award matter? It will do if WPP wins it two or three years in a row.

You May Also Like

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.