I’m not sure if DDB will participate in Cannes next year: Amir Kassaei

27 Jun,2012

By A Correspondent

 

DDB Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Amir Kassaei has indicted some Cannes Lions 2012 jurors of bias. Mr Kassaei alleged that judges of certain global holdings had been ordered to vote for work from their respective groups. In a video interview to Campaign Brief, Mr Kassaei said that the integrity of Cannes was at stake and the authority as well as the value of the festival was being undermined. In the same interview, he also hinted at boycotting Cannes next year if a proper investigation was not undertaken by the organizers of Cannes for this year’s jury decisions.

 

[youtube width=”400″ height=”225″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t27gPMSJND0[/youtube]

Mr Kassaei said: “We (DDB) as the most awarded network in the history of Cannes will go into a very tough discussion about next year because we cannot accept that the people are willingly voting against the best work in the jury.”

 

Mr Kassaei’s accusations follow claims by WPP’s Chief Executive Sir Martin Sorrell that Cannes judges could have been pressured into block voting, which has damaged his agencies chances of winning. Sir Martin Sorrell was quoted in The Guardian saying he had heard rumours of certain jury members being pressured into voting for selected entries and dismissing quality pieces of work from the judging process without due cause.

 

The jury in question was chaired by Mainardo de Nardis, the Chief Executive of OMD Worldwide and Manning Gottleib OMD, Omnicom-owned media buying agency won the Grand Prix award for a Google Campaign.

 

Reacting to Sir Martin Sorrell’s allegations that Omnicom somehow rigged the Media Lions award in favour of Manning Gottlieb OMD’s work for Google, Mr Kassaei said that WPP executives were ordered to discriminate against Omnicom agencies’ work in the jury voting: “I have since been notified by no fewer than 12 jury members that people from other holding companies this week are being briefed to kill Omnicom, especially BBDO, DDB and TBWA, this is a fact.”

 

He added, “What differentiates Omnicom from WPP is the creativity and innovation. I would respect them if they did the better work. Just look at the objective facts, in the media category, WPP is doing better than Omnicom, so accusing us that we’re playing silly games is not right.”

 

Furthermore, Mr Kassaei said: “The problem we have at the moment is that Cannes used to be the World Cup of advertising because of the qualification and the result of the juries, and at the moment I don’t have a feeling we are at the World Cup of advertising because a lot of people are playing politics instead of judging the best work of all.”

 

In an interview to Afaqs on the judging of Media Lions, Dominic Proctor, President, WPP’s media holding company, Group M, said: “I’ve heard a lot of whisperings in bars and restaurants that there did seem to be some kind of strange voting…I heard rumours that certain blocs of votes were being encouraged. If that’s the case then it would be a worry because if Cannes wants to be taken seriously as a media and a creative platform, then we need to make sure that the process is not in any sense corrupted.”

 

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