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BBDO hands back Cannes Lion for 'scammy' Bayer campaign which was slammed online

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By Cameron Clarke | Editor

June 25, 2016 | 3 min read

BBDO has responded to the outcry over its Brazilian agency's aspirin ads by handing back the Bronze Lion the campaign won at Cannes this week.

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BBDO hands back Bronze lion for controversial Bayer ads / Twitter

Not only was the tone of the work deemed offensive by many, but the ads contravened Cannes Lions rules after it emerged the agency itself, AlmapBBDO, paid for them to run, and not the client Bayer.

Speaking on stage at Cannes, BBDO chairman David Lubars said: "I learned last night that one of our very own agencies had a pretty scammy ad in the festival, and it won a Lion.

"I told them to return it. Because I don't want that kind of Lion. BBDO doesn't want that kind of Lion."

The ads were exposed as scam work yesterday when Bayer distanced itself from the campaign and said it had been created specifically by the agency to be entered at Cannes Lions.

The pharmaceutical firm said the concept was presented to the company's local marketing team in Brazil by BBDO as "one of several campaigns that the agency intended to submit for this year's Cannes Lions festival", and that the agency itself "paid for limited placement in Brazil".

The campaign attracted widespread criticism on social media after prominent equality campaigner Cindy Gallop called out its creators and the outdoor jury who judged it worthy of an award.

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