Ketchum wins big at Cannes PR Lions as Fearless Girl bags the Grand Prix

Ketchum was the big winner among PR agencies at the Cannes PR Lions, as changes to the awards saw far more PR shops win recognition - while Fearless Girl for State Street Global Advisors bagged the Grand Prix.

Fearless Girl: Grand Prix winner
Fearless Girl: Grand Prix winner

Ketchum and its subsidiaries won 11 PR Lions this evening, including two Gold Lions for handling PR for the Cheetos Museum campaign for Cheetos, and a Gold for its work on Care Counts for Whirlpool. Among other PR agencies:

  • Edelman won two PR Lions, both Bronzes, for the Worlds Apart campaign (below) for Heineken (credited to the agency’s London office)
  • Ogilvy PR won two Lions, both Bronzes; the Melbourne office won for the AAMI Smartplates campaign for Suncorp, and the London office for Refugees Real-Time Tweet Responses
  • Weber Shandwick won one Silver Lion for Brutal Cut for ActionAid UK (London) and Weber's agency Current Marketing of Chicago won a Gold Lion for the Teddy Gun campaign for Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
  • MSLGroup won one Bronze Lion for the Local Heroes campaign for Comune Di Fucecchio – Pro Loco Di Fucecchio (Milan)
  • Radius Kommunikation of Copenhagen won three Lions - one Gold and two Silver – for The DNA Journey for Momondo.

Overall, 17 Gold PR Lions were awarded, down from 19 last year. There were 32 Silver Lions (2016: 30) and 50 Bronze Lions (2016: 34) handed out.

PR agencies won significantly more Lions this year than last, following a change in the process that allowed entrants to credit the agency, agencies, or in-house teams that handled PR for the campaigns; if the campaign wins a Lion, that agency is deemed a Lion winner. The definition of PR was also revised.

Omnicom Public Relations Group CEO Karen van Bergen was president of the PR Lions jury this year.

Just seven of the 100 PR Lions awarded had a PR agency listed under "idea creation" - that is roughly the same proportion that won PR Lions last year (five out of 84). None of the seven won Gold. Those Lions went to:

  • #Nuggsforcarter for Wendy’s (Ketchum Atlanta) – one Silver and one Bronze
  • Worlds Apart for Heineken (joint credit to Edelman London and Publicis London) – two Bronze
  • Amazon Warriors Safe Collection campaign for Ananse (Ketchum’s Brazilian subsidiary Little George) – one Silver
  • #Jenesupportepaslesbleus for Elle’s Imagine’nt (Buzzman of Paris) – one Silver
  • Brutal Cut for ActionAid UK (Weber Shandwick London) – one Silver

The in-house communications team at State Street Global Advisors is credited with handling PR for Fearless Girl – idea creation is credited to McCann New York.

The statue of a little girl defiantly staring down the Charging Bull on Wall Street, which appeared on March’s International Women’s Day, has been credited with driving awareness and conversation about female empowerment – and $7.4 million in publicity for State Street.

Several PR chiefs tipped that campaign as a big winner. It also won a Gold and a Silver PR Lion, and was the Grand Prix winner in the Glass Lion and Outdoor category. Earlier this month State Street’s head of PR Anne McNally discussed Fearless Girl in an interview with PRWeek.

Other PR agency wins (all credited to handling PR) in the PR Lions included:

  • Finn PR of Belgium won a Gold and a Silver Lion for the Coins of Hope campaign for Child Focus
  • PR Pundit of Mumbai won a Gold and a Silver Lion for Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks for ITC Savlon
  • Giusti Comunicacao Integrada of Sao Paulo won two Silver Lions, one for Braille Bricks for Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind, and the other for Woman Interrupted for Institucionl
  • Eleven PR of Melbourne won two Bronze Lions for the ANZ #Holdtight campaign for ANZ Bank
  • Dentsu Public Relations of Tokyo won a Silver Lion for the Second Life Toys campaign for Green Ribbon Project Committee 
  • Exposure PR of New York won a Bronze Lion for the Hangar 1 Fog Point campaign for Hangar 1
  • Llorente & Cuenca of Madrid won a Bronze Lion for the Delicious Calm campaign for Campofrio 
  • Emanate of Munchen, a Ketchum conflict agency, won a Bronze Lion for the Mannschafts-Whopper campaign for Burger King
  • Map and Page of Sydney won a Bronze Lion for the Rescue Rashie campaign for Westpac Banking Corporation
  • Het PR Bureau of Amsterdam won a Bronze Lion for the Get the Flow campaign for Vodafone.

There were 228 shortlisted entries, down from 239 last year.

Ketchum, Edelman and Weber Shandwick had already won Lions at the Health & Wellness Lions, while Burson did so at the Pharma Lions, both announced on Saturday. A number of the campaigns listed above were also triumphant in other non-PR Lions today.


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