Aussies hoist the flag at Cannes with Chopper ...

B&T Weekly

Monday 25 June 2001
By Byron Smith

SAATCHI & Saatchi Sydney has won Australia’s second Gold Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival, winning at the film awards ceremony on the weekend.

The Lion was awarded for Saatchi’s anti-drink-driving commercial "Prison", starring infamous underworld figure Chopper Read, for the Pedestrian Council of Australia.

Dominating the Public Health & Safety category, Australia also won a Silver Lion, with Marketforce Perth honoured for its “Nice People” anti-smoking commercial for the Cancer Foundation of Western Australia/Target 15.

Only one other award, a Silver Lion, was awarded in that category, to Crispin Porter + Bogusky Miami, again for anti-smoking advertising.

Our final at the Cannes Festival went to Melbourne agency M&C Saatchi, in the Non- alcoholic Drinks category, for its "Lawn" commercial, promoting Berri Plus Drink -a recent winner at MADC.

Australia’s representative on the Cannes film jury, Brown Melhuish Fishlock Sydney creative director Warren Brown, said the work from Australia, and the rest of the world, proved that advertising was more than just a "sponsored joke".

"Advertising is becoming more intelligent, and I believe the quality will only improve," Brown said.

He said Saatchi’s advertisement for the Pedestrian Council was an outstanding idea - "a fantastic one-off execution".

"All the Gold winners in film were exceptional, and Saatchi was right up there, as was all the Australian work on the shortlist," Brown said.

"Our 10 finalists were whittled down to five quite quickly, and then three stood out from that. For a market of our size we did pretty well."

Though New Zealand is usually the nation that makes the antipodes look good, New Zealand recorded no winners in the film section of the awards. Brown said it was a good thing that in a lean year for New Zealand, Australia was able to "hoist the flag" for the region.

View the'Chopper' Read Cannes Lion Gold Award 'Prison' Commercial