Cannes Lions

Cannes Smells Something Fishy With Design Grand Prix Winner

'Lucky Iron Fish' Turns Out to Be Unlucky For Geometry Global

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After protests about Geometry Global's role in the "Lucky Iron Fish" project that won the Grand Prix at Cannes for Product Design, the agency's name is being dropped from the award.

As soon as the festival awarded the Grand Prix to "Lucky Iron Fish," submitted by WPP's Geometry Global and Memac Ogilvy MENA in Dubai, accusations poured in. They charged that the agencies weren't responsible for the work and played a minimal role later in an effort to win awards, and that the simple method of curing iron deficiency by getting Cambodians to cook with a small cast iron fish in the pot had been around for years.

The festival investigated, and issued a statement Friday night. In the statement, the festival said Gavin Armstrong, Lucky Iron Fish's president-CEO, confirmed working "in close partnership with the agencies." Geometry Global described its role as bringing "wider exposure and commercial success to this important public health innovation" and said the agency misunderstood the festival rules and didn't realize Lucky Iron Fish could have entered the work on its own without Geometry Global as the entrant company.

The agency said in the statement: "Therefore, we have agreed with the Cannes Lions that Lucky Iron Fish should be the sole recipient of the Grand Prix in Product Design."

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