Mark Read is surprise guest at Publicis Groupe’s awards as WPP named Cannes’ most creative company of the decade

Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun welcomed WPP CEO Mark Read (via video link) to the Palais du Festival to celebrate the achievements of Burger King’s “Mouldy Whopper” ad, which was a joint effort between the two groups.

Read greeted Sadoun with a dusting of French (one minute into this video), and, after a quick comment about the campaign, swiftly departs to enjoy his “entente cordiale” burger, made from British beef with Roquefort cheese.

Read had the last laugh, as WPP was named by the official Cannes Lions as most creative communications company of the decade, thanks to winning 51 Grand Prix and Titanium Lions since 2011.

Publicis Groupe has faced charges of frivolity for pulling this internal awards show stunt at the Palais du Festival during a pandemic, flying both Sadoun and advisory board chairman Maurice Lévy to the Croisette make yet another jokey video.

Sadoun addresses these concerns, saying: “Many of you are asking, ‘what are they doing in Cannes when the world is facing such a crisis?’ Well it’s pretty simple. We don’t want to give up on what we stand for, what we love, what is the core of our business model. And we want to make sure that today we celebrate creativity in all of its forms.”

For those interested, this ad for Emirates NBD bank by Leo Burnett Dubai was judged to be the the best work to come out of Publicis Groupe over the last year.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.