No Lion's Share For P&G

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Now that the novelty has worn off, Procter & Gamble Co.'s second visit to Cannes is raising some tough questions: Why the company isn't winning more Lions after a year of unfettered creativity? Has P&G has changed Cannes more than vice versa?

The company came to the French Riviera this year with hopes of winning more Lions than last. But while P&G took three media Lions, results in the creative competition were more lackluster. P&G's 40-plus delegation managed a Gold Lion in direct for, but only a single Bronze Lion in press, compared to three last year in press and outdoor. Only three P&G ads made the shortlist in film this year, compared to four last year.

By contrast, Unilever's Michael Brockbank, VP-brand communications, who came to Cannes by himself, may have trouble stuffing into his bags the five Lions the company took home in press and cyber categories alone.

"We're very proud of the work we submitted this year," said P&G Chief Marketing Officer Jim Stengel. "We're very proud of the media and direct awards. We're very much trying to change our culture."

Although much attention has focused on whether the growing number of P&G and client delegates was burying the fun and spontaneity of Cannes, P&G's agency executives weren't complaining privately or publicly.

"Maybe it depends on who your clients are," said Steven Landsberg, group creative director for Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. "We like our clients. And if you don't, you have more problems than Cannes."

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