Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Cannes Lions Grand Prix 2005

The 52nd International Advertising Festival is in full swing in Cannes, in the south of France. Several of the coveted Cannes Lions Grand Prix have been announced, along with the Advertiser of the Year (Ken Kutaragi of Sony Computer Entertainment) and the Media Person of the Year (Lachlan Murdoch of News Corp). The name of these prestigious industry awards comes from the lion of Piazza San Marco in Venice, where the first festival took place in 1954. In 1994 the festival moved permanently to Cannes, and in 2004 the week-long event was purchased by UK media group EMAP, capping its transition into a serious business event. This year's festival is expected to be attended by over 8,000 delegates, and judges have had to consider 22,000 entries to the nine main categories. To date, the Media and Direct advertising awards have been announced, with the winners of the Press, Outdoor, Young Creatives and Cyber categories due to be announced on Thursday. Friday sees the unveiling of the winners of the Film and Radio categories as well as a new award, the Titanium Lions. The festival is being sponsored by MSN, Getty Images, Africa and Corbis, with support from CNBC Europe, PosteItaliane, Kodak, The Mill and USA Today. Providers for the festival include Cellhire, Renault, SAWA, beam.tv, Adobe, Sony and Apple. MSN is sponsoring two awards, the Cyber Lions and the Titanium Lions. Getty Images is also sponsoring two awards, the Press awards and the Young Creatives, the latter one co-sponsored by Adobe, USA Today and Apple. 3G agency Africa is sponsoring the Film category.