WEDNESDAY 28 JUN 2023 1:51 PM


A glaring absence of PR firms at Cannes Lions this year has been highlighted by the announcement of the PR Lions winners, with few PR firms taking home the top awards.

There was a notable absence of PR firms among the gold winners of the Cannes PR Lions awards this year, which remains a recurring issue since the PR Lions’ launch in 2009. Of the nine gold award winners, none originated from PR agencies.

Although PR firms did well in other areas of the awards, Weber Shadwick was the only PR firm to feature among the gold PR Lions winners in its supporting role in Skittles’ campaign, ‘Apologize the Rainbow’, in the ‘Launch/Re-launch’ category.

“Two global PR creative powerhouses were awarded metal in the PR Lions,” PR jury president Jo-Ann Robertson commented. “Ketchum won two silvers and a bronze, and Edelman won a silver and a bronze out of 1600 entries - this should be celebrated.

“Of course, I would love to see more PR agencies winning at Cannes, but they have to be in it to win it. 

“Out of those 1600 entries the vast majority were from ad agencies!” Robertson continued. “We need to be more confident as the idea originators and work harder to ensure that we can show the impact of our work. I know the work is out there, so let's see it and celebrate it.”

DoorDash, in partnership with advertising agency GUT, received the prestigious Cannes PR Lions grand prix award this year for its ‘Self Love Bouquet’ campaign, combating the tricky topic of masturbation. The campaign highlighted how masturbation is still taboo, with 69% of women feeling uncomfortable discussing the topic. Noting that 42% of DoorDash customers are single, the campaign impressed with an initiative that made bouquets containing roses and sex toys available to female customers to order via the platform on Valentine’s Day.

Other PR Lions gold winners include Nike, in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy, for its ‘Home’ campaign in the ‘Travel/Leisure’ category. Israeli brand Zikaron Balson took home gold for its ‘Fighting to Remember’ entry to the ‘Best use of Influencers’ category. Argentinian brand Lalcec trumped the ‘PR Effectiveness’ category with its ‘The Postponed Day’ entry, and MasterCard won gold for its ‘Where to Settle’ campaign in ‘Sponsorship & Brand Partnership’. In category ‘Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility’, Adidas won gold for its ‘Runner 321’ campaign with FCB Toronto.

PR firms were noticeably absent from the rest of the Cannes Lions programme too, with only two sessions being led by PR agencies.