Omnicom again sweeps Cannes

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Omnicom Group's three agency networks, as usual, seized the most prizes at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, led by three networks, BBDO, DDB Worldwide and TBWA Worldwide.

TBWA captured the top slot this year, thanks to winning the film Grand Prix for PlayStation 2's U.K. spot "Mountain" and dominating the press and outdoor awards with 10 Gold Lions, including four for more PlayStation work from France. DDB was next in total Lions won, followed by BBDO, although BBDO won more awards for film and press and outdoor.

WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather was ranked fourth, with 27 total Lions, followed by Saatchi & Saatchi (23), Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett (17), Euro RSCG (14) and Lowe 10 (see chart, top right).

If there were an award for most-improved creative network at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, it would go to Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide.

"All I wanted to do this year was win as many Lions as Publicis had won over the last decade, which was eight or nine," said David Droga, worldwide chief creative officer.

He picked up 12. That moved Publicis up to ninth-most-awarded network at this year's festival from the basement last year, when the agency won zero for film, press and outdoor, and just three overall, in the cyber and direct Lions competitions.

'maurice is ecstatic'

"Our trek to base camp was done in record time," Mr. Droga said. "Maurice [Levy] is ecstatic."

Mr. Levy, Publicis' chairman-CEO, said that as Publicis developed from a Paris agency into an international network "we didn't invest as much as we should have in creativity." Mr. Droga's move last year from sibling Saatchi was followed by creative hirings around the world. Most of the network's winning work for clients such as Allied Domecq and Hewlett-Packard was done about four months before the festival's deadline. "We gave carte blanche to David Droga to build our team," said Mr. Levy.

Mr. Droga said his ultimate goal is to rank among the top three networks at Cannes. That will be tough, considering Omnicom's big three usually dominate.

Among this year's winners for Publicis: a press & outdoor Gold for a Paton Fertilizer campaign by Publicis Mojo, Sydney.

This year J. Walter Thompson was the eighth-most-awarded network by film and press and outdoor Lions, up from 12th last year.

JWT wins included a press and outdoor Grand Prix from Malaysia and a Gold Lion for an Aerolineas Argentinas spot from Buenos Aires that highlighted airline punctuality with unusual charm as a small boy captures the plane's shadow in a box and has to be persuaded to release it. JWT also covets more awards; starting this year, it will tie managers' bonuses to creative performance. Chief Talent Officer Marc Capra said criteria will include key awards such as Cannes and performance against local rivals.

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