Matt Williams: so far it’s been a scandal-free Cannes – personally I blame social media

Cannes 2014: This year at Cannes, there’ve been no scandals. No drama. No controversy.

Well, that’s not entirely true – there’s been more than the fair share of scandal away from the Palais I’m sure – but when it comes to the actual Cannes Lions awards, it’s all been very calm and controlled.

We haven’t (to my knowledge) had a single Grand Prix or Gold revoked because the campaign wasn’t eligible. There have been no angry creative directors storming the stage in protest over a scam ad. We’ve not even heard any accusations of vote rigging yet. Surely one network head is prepared to drink one glass of rosé too many and call shenanigans on a jury head from a rival?

In fact, almost all the winners have been very predictable. That’s not to say the work is dull – there have been some very worthy winners, my favourites including the Nivea Sun Protection ad that won Mobile and the British Airways outdoor campaign (both below, the BA one is the how they did it version) – but the majority of big campaigns that were tipped beforehand to walk away with the Golds have done so.

Volvo Trucks ‘Live Test Series’ came through as everyone first thought. Coca-Cola has walked off with yet another Grand Prix. And 24 Hours of Happy’ has done well as anticipated.

Maybe it’s just getting easier to work out what sort of work the judges like, as Leo Burnett claims to be able to do with an 84 per cent accuracy rate in its fabled Cannes Prediction reel.

Or maybe it’s because social media means we’re exposed far earlier to far more pieces of work, so don’t need to wait until a global festival to find out what everyone else around the world is up to.

Whatever the reason, it seems like the controversy in Cannes will have to be limited to the Carlton Terrace for now.

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