Ogilvy Vietnam has decided to give back two of its awards to Cannes Lions, after senior staff decided it was unfair as some of the work entered didn’t actually run in-market.
The work was for Rhino Rescue Project, a campaign which has won at both the Cannes Lions and the APAC Effies, according to Mumbrella. It is not known whether its wins at other awards will also be voluntarily rescinded.
A statement released by Ogilvy, said: “We determined that some elements of the campaign material created to support the NGO’s efforts to reduce Vietnamese consumer demand for rhino horns did not run in-market as stated in our submission video to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
"Ogilvy & Mather sends our sincerest apologies to both our client and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. We are deeply regretful of any embarrassment this error in judgement has caused. While our agency has a long history of pro bono work for various causes including rhino horn protection, we do not condone any work done in opposition of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity regulations and guidelines.”
This is the third agency to have given an award back to Cannes Lions already this year and the second from APAC.
BBDO gave back an award after it deemed it to be “scammy” and Grey Singapore returned the award it got for its refugee campaign.
The agency was called out for its app I-Sea by technology journalists who found issues in the code which didn’t tally up with the claims in the award entry. While Grey stuck to its guns on its ambitions with the app, arguing that it was still in Beta, it also took the decision to return the award.
The scale of incident led to The Drum adding an additional category to its Chip Shop awards this year, the Cannes Lying prize. With the purpose of the awards being to celebrate creative and controversial work that has never had the intention of running, the Cannes Lying category will pay tribute to scam ads, with fakes entered into other awards ceremonies – and then named and shamed – automatically qualifying for entry.
The Cannes Lying category is launching for The Chip Shop Awards 2017 and therefore Ogilvy also finds itself in the shortlist.