|The Brazilian agency DPZ has been stripped of a Cyber and Press & Poster Lions for 'ghost' ads.
CANNES WINNER QUESTIONED AS POSSIBLE SCAM
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TWO GOLD LION FINALISTS DISQUALIFIED AS SCAMS
"Clear Violation of the Rules" Says Jury President
There was widespread speculation at the Cannes festival last week that the ads entered by independent DPZ were not genuine.
George Gallate, president of the Cyber jury and CEO of Havas' Euro RSCG Interaction, New York, said during the festival that if the KY entry wasn't genuine, the Lion should be withdrawn.
On Tuesday, J&J issued a press release in Portuguese to Brazilian journalists stating it was unaware of the winning ad and that it was produced "without the involvement or approval of any of its staff."
The marketer also said in the statement that Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, not DPZ, has been its agency for the KY brand in Brazil for the past three years.
The festival was asked on Wednesday by at least one of this year's Cannes judges to investigate the legitimacy of DPZ's two KY entries.
Caught by surprise?
A statement from the festival said: "After a thorough check conducted by [newspaper] O Estado de Sao Paulo, the official Brazilian representative of the festival, it was concluded that DPZ's top management was caught by surprise on this issue. It seems that a junior creative of the Rio de Janeiro office took a regretful initiative when entering inappropriately these ads."
However, the Press & Poster Gold Lion was awarded to DPZ on June 18, and the Cyber Gold on June 22. It apparently didn't occur to DPZ executives between those dates and the festival investigation on June 26 that the agency had received two Gold Lions for work it hadn't meant to enter.