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The Cannes Lion Roars of Integrated Marketing

Advertising agencies swept the Cannes Awards this week.  AdAge, a staple publication for advertisers, pointed out that of the 20 Gold Lion awards given out, only one went to a PR firm.

PRWeek, a pillar for the PR industry, reported that big ad agencies like Leo Burnett and McCann Erickson won big, while JWT, a legend in the ad space, snatched the Grand Prix.

Is this bad news for PR?  Did the pendulum swing back the other way? After all, just three years ago, the buzz was about how PR pros stunned the advertising industry with a big win for the “Best Job in the World” campaign.

I don’t think either is true and believe this is further evidence that the line between PR and marketing has become so blurred, it’s nearly indistinguishable. Look at the picture nearby:  is that advertising or PR? The answer is that it’s a bit of both.

“PR shouldn’t beat itself up about Cannes,” read the headline of PRWeek Editor-in-Chief Steve Barrett’s recent editorial.  But his commentary offers greater insight.

“There were only two pure-play PR agencies amongst the 69 Grand Prix, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Lions awarded,” he wrote.  He later added: “One big takeaway for me, as I sat in the auditorium watching the PR, Direct, and Promo & Activation Lions being awarded, was that there were many entries that could have won in any of the discipline sections.”

“Pure-play” and “any of the discipline sections” should stand out as key phrases. Consider the following indications:

Three’s a trend:  the answer is staring us in the face:  the future is about integrated marketing.  If the lion is king of the jungle, then the lion has surely sounded its call.

Photo credit: Scott Rope – Stuff you may or may not care about

 

 

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