Publicis has just announced they were cutting all award and trades shows till 2018 and at the same time launching "Marcel" an AI assistant that will help turn Publicis into a platform solution Walking away from Cannes (and announcing this at the festival, by a French based agency) sent a message to their entire marketing world about what matters. Correlation? maybe or maybe not. Controversial? you bet. So do awards work? I believe that there is enough evidence to suggest that award winning advertising drives growth. McKinsey agrees and so does the Gunn Report on creativity. The agency I ran punched way beyond its weight in effectiveness and creativity and it was one reason why we got on lists, on pitches, and why we grew. I was proud of the product we produced - and the results. Do awards help inspire future work? I learned a ton at CES, Cannes, the Effies...but for many of these venues I also saw the excess. But lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater....celebrating creativity; establishing benchmarks; inspiring each other are all great things. Spending millions is too much but can you attend without the excess? I wonder if the AI experiment will pay off or if it is a PR tactic. Stock went down today?