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Musings: Do awards in advertising matter

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?