Now Coke’s Grand Prix winner from China is dragged into the scam ads debate

Scam ads look like being the flavour of the year following JWT India’s Ford Figo fiasco. Now Leo Burnett has withdrawn two winning radio ads for Tata from the same Goafest ad awards and similar cases seem to be emerging from under every upturned stone.

Sources in China tell us that Ogilvy’s 2012 Cannes Grand Prix outdoor winner for Coca-Cola, an undeniably striking piece of work (left), only actually ran on two poster sites facing the agency’s offices, prior to winning anyway.

This may fit the Cannes rules (or may not) but it’s hardly a campaign is it? Coke has won Cannes’ Advertiser of the Year gong for 2013, a decision based largely on the supposed impact of ads like this one. Impact on whom?

And the root cause of all this chicanery? The Holding Company of the Year gong, that’s what.

C’mon Cannes, be brave and get rid of it.


  1. If it ran, it ran. It doesn’t matter if it ran all over the city or in just two sites. There are clients (obviously not coke) that only have money for two sites. Does that mean they shouldn’t compete? Maybe they first ran the poster there as a pilot for the campaign, have you thought of that? This ad bashing is becoming a bit concerning – there are so many shitty ads out there and some of you people would actually prefer that the good ones wouldn’t exist at all. Cannes is a creativity festival, not media-space festival. Deal with it. And stand for creativity, not the snooze-fest that adland is turning into.

  2. If all people can do is scam ads, maybe they should go the whole hog and find a garret to write or paint. I could hit the tape sooner that Usain Bolt if I had a 90 metre start. Doesn’t mean I’m a great athlete though.

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