Industry veteran and co-founder of TBWA and Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) Sir John Hegarty has spoken about fake Cannes Lions submissions during Adweek’s Creative 100 party.
Talking about the multitude of “Cannes Scams”, Hegarty said it was “relentless”.
Adding, “It’s a bit like drugs in sport … as people find new ways of trying to hold it back, people will find other ways around it.”
Careful not to name names, Hegarty said this year a number of entries were “obviously, completely fake”.
For Hegarty, the likelihood of an agency submitting a fake entry is concerning, though more so is when clients join in.
“One of the great tragedies is that clients are involved,” Hegarty said.
“They are trying to get more fame within their own organisation.”
Despite the number of fake entries, Hegarty told the audience, “What a scam piece will never do is win the Grand Prix for Effectiveness.”
Adding, “The reason we have these awards is to show people how creativity and effectiveness can create great things. If the work never ran, then what’s the point?”
Last month, B&T sat down with Cannes Lions chairman Terry Savage to discuss the festival.
When asked about “Cannes Scams”, Savage said the numbers are insignificant and conversation around fake work is merely distracting us from the other campaigns.
“The only comment I have to make about that is there are 43,000 entries into Cannes and there’s one piece of scam work.
“Why do we focus on the one piece of scam work, the scam, the cheater, and not on the amazing work that changes minds, changes hearts, changes the industry going forward?
“Do we like it? No. Do we try and eradicate it? Yes. Do we want it out of the industry? Totally, but it’s a tiny element of the wonderful celebration of creativity.”
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