UK shops falter at Cannes Direct

UK agencies have secured only eight finalists out of the 204-strong shortlist for this year’s Cannes Direct Lions, with the final results due tomorrow (June 21).
Being London heads the list with three nominations, while Publicis London has secured two and Grey London, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Wunderman have one each in the 26 categories.
The Direct Lions competition was added in 2002 to honour creative direct marketing solutions. Initially planned as a separate event, to take place after the ad festival, it was merged into the main event owing to poor attendance.
The awards, which cost €468.00 each to enter, have never been particularly fertile ground for UK agencies, with the vast majority of awards going to agencies in developing markets which some claim produce work with a greater “edge”.
As one UK creative chief bemoaned: “Creatively, if you want to cross the road, you have to step off the pavement. Right now, too many UK agencies are left clinging to the lamp-post of research and past practice for fear of losing the business.”
UK agencies will be hoping for better luck tomorrow when the shortlist will be announced for the digital categories.
The Cannes International Advertising Festival was launched in 1954. Inspired by the International Film Festival, which had been staged in Cannes since the late Forties, a group of worldwide cinema screen advertising contractors (SAWA) felt that the makers of advertising films should receive similar recognition as their colleagues in the feature film industry. In order to promote the cinema medium, SAWA established the International Advertising Film Festival. The first Festival took place in Venice.
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