Let me explain. This is an annual grudge match between two players – WPP and Publicis Groupe – and involves creative arithmetic skills of the highest order. Omnicom is excluded on the grounds that it enjoys an unfair advantage (ie, it is the overall winner every year, usually by a country mile).
So, what’s the form? Well, last year both WPP and Publicis proclaimed they were the winner, which led to some acrimonious email correspondence between their two chiefs, Sir Martin Sorrell and Maurice Lévy.
This year, WPP is trumpeting outright victory. Posted on its website is an exhaustive analysis of the results, which triumphantly underpin its claim. Using the Cannes judging system (10 for Grand Prix, 7 for Gold, 5 for Silver, 3 for Bronze and 1 for all shortlists), those results pan out as follows:
1. Omnicom – 1452 points (187 statues)
2. WPP – 1317 points (177 statues)
3. Publicis – 883 points (118 statues)
Surely Lévy can’t be happy with this tally? Yet, so far, I have searched in vain for enlightenment on the Publicis Groupe site…
Come to think of it, John Wren won’t be very happy either, at the prospect of WPP closing the yawning gap with Omnicom. Must be that John O’Keeffe weaving miracles as WPP global creative director.