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Publicis Groupe's Saatchi was also one of only two networks -- along with Omnicom's TBWA Worldwide -- to win Lions this year in each of the festival's awards areas: film, press and poster, cyber, media and the first-ever direct-marketing Lions.
Omnicom networks eclipsed
It was a rare creative eclipse for the Omnicom networks that usually dominate international awards shows. BBDO Worldwide placed second, with DDB Worldwide coming in third based on TV and print Lions, but sixth when cyber, media and direct Lions were factored in.
The addition of the media Grand Prix won by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann and three direct Lions won by McCann-Erickson Worldwide and its direct marketing subsidiary MRM boosted McCann to 10th place.
Saatchi also showed great breadth in the scope of its award-winning U.K. creative work. Winners ranged from the controversial Club 18-30 print campaign that won the Press & Poster Grand Prix by flagrantly parading the sexual promise that lures young British holidaymakers to a heartbreaking commercial called "Cartoon" for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
In the "Cartoon" spot, an abusive father bludgeons, trips and burns a cartoon boy who keeps bouncing back unhurt. In the last frame, after the father has tossed the boy down the stairs, the cartoon character vanishes and a real little boy lies crumpled on the floor, proof of the deadly reality of violence.
Saatchi's sizzling U.K. performance is in stark contrast to Saatchi's New York agency. That shop didn't take home any Lions; Saatchi's Torrance, Calif., office picked up two, one a Gold for the popular Toyota Celica "Dog" spot.
Saatchi's creative dominance wasn't enough to unseat Omnicom as the top-scoring holding company with three powerhouse networks and 73 Lions, but it did secure a second-place finish for Publicis Groupe with 37 Lions.
There were fewer wins this year for small independents. One exception was Canada's Taxi, a 10-year-old, fiercely independent Toronto shop run by Paul Lavoie, which picked up three Press & Poster Lions.