Cannes awards agency independence

UPDATE: Cannes Lions tweak eligibility criteria for the Independent Agency of The Year Award.



There’s yet another prize that agencies from all other the world will be vying for at this year’s Cannes Lions. For the first time, the international awards show will name an Independent Agency of the Year.

No additional submissions are required – all independent agencies that submit work are eligible. The Cannes Lions recently changed the eligibility criteria for the award. Originally, to be considered independent, the agencies must not be owned by one of the major global holding companies: Aegis, Dentsu, Havas, Interpublic, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP. Now, an independent agency will be recognized as one that is owned by its management or independent shareholders and is not associated with any holding company or listed entity.

‘Initially we tried to make eligibility wider, but with so many permutations it is impossible to create a level playing field,’ said Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions, in a release. ‘On reflection we realized it was not achieving what we wanted, which was to recognize truly independent agencies.’

The big winner will have garnered the most points across any of the 12 entry sections at the festival, with shortlisted entries earning one point.

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