This could be the last year the Cannes Lions awards are based on media with organisers arranging meetings with adland leaders to discuss alternative methods.
In today’s Cyber jury press conference AKQA chief creative officer James Hilton (pictured), said the current model of dividing prizes by media has created a “Frankenstein’s monster” situation with campaigns able to win across a number of different disciplines.
He added: “What’s required now is a large rethink, not only of Cyber but of the entire awards structure. Now film is being awarded in Cyber and stuff that’s digital is being voted for in Direct.
“Digital is coming more and more to the fore, it’s not just about the delivery mechanism any more.”
After he told B&T he was meeting with Cannes Lions CEO Phil Thomas about “restructuring the awards”. He added: “I think we need to look at everything.
“I can’t see how we can maintain the current status quo of media led awards, it doesn’t make any sense on any level.
“I would prefer to see it in categories as business types, so automotive, finance, beverages etc. Then there could be a best in show at the end of it all.”
Several jurors have complained openly it is tough to compare charity work with corporate, or a car ad with an FMCG brand, as well as the diversity of executions in categories like direct and outdoor, which have a broad remit.
Such a change would also stop one campaign from dominating the awards, as Dumb Ways to Die has done this year.
Jason Buckley, head of George Patterson Y&R in Australia, agreed a change would bring “better focus” to the work.
He added: “A change would make Cannes more relevant to the modern world of advertising. By having categories like that you cut out most of the scam ads and compare work like for like.
"It would also bring more clients to Cannes as they would be more engaged with the awards.”
A spokeswoman for the festival said they would not make decisions on or discuss any changes to the festival until they had consulted with jurors after the 2013 Lions has finished, a process which has been happening for years.
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