PR Firms Stay Home While Cannes Burns

According to Ad Age, PR shops need to step up at Cannes.

“For the third straight year in a row, the PR industry is still failing to represent itself as strongly as it should in its own category,” Cannes juror Renee Wilson, said.

Interestingly, recovering journalist Jeremy Mullman of Olson isn’t buying it.

Am I alone in failing to see a lack of interest in an award show as a negative? It’s certainly an issue for the Cannes organizers who no doubt added the category to draw revenue from a larger field of entrants, and it is almost certainly a problem for big creative-advertising networks that need to justify jaw-dropping outlays on shows like Cannes without proof of its relevance.

But I fail to see how not winning a three-year-old award which PR firms show little interest in pursuing should matter at all to those same PR firms that, for the most part, choose not to enter.

Mullman is not alone in his critique, but he is mostly alone in media circles. Because it’s not just privileged ad geeks who go to Cannes today, it’s reporters and ad bloggers. And why would that crowd cut off its nose to spite its face?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.