Grey Singapore returns Cannes Lions award after 'unrelenting attacks by unnamed bloggers'

Grey gives back award for I Sea app

Grey Singapore has returned the Cannes Lions award it received for an app that was reported to not do what it promised.

Grey for Good in Singapore came under the scrutiny of developers and bloggers after it won a Bronze Cannes Lions in June for the I Sea app, which aimed to use the power of the crowds to scan waters for boats that may contain refugees.

Reports suggested that, once the technology was scrutinised, the app wasn’t doing what it had said in real-time. Apple pulled the app from the app store soon after the issue generated attention from the press.

Grey Singapore defended its technology, saying the app was in beta but that it had every intention of creating a fully-working version of the app.

It has now taken the decision to give back the award, saying in a statement that it wanted to ensure its integrity after being attacked online by bloggers.

The statement reads: “During Cannes we said the app was real and its creator, Grey for Good in Singapore, is a highly respected philanthropic unit that has helped numerous non-profit organizations.

"Moreover, Grey is one of the most creatively awarded agencies in the world with the highest ethical standards. We won over 90 Cannes Lions this year alone so there is no need for scam projects. However, given the unwarranted, unfair, unrelenting attacks by unnamed bloggers, we are putting an end to this and returning the Bronze Lion so there is not even the hint of impropriety or a question of our integrity. The saying no good deed goes unpunished is apt in this case.”

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.