In other words, this headline would read: 'Are embargos on results effective?'
Time and again, I've been asked for who the winners are, on the eve of the awards day. The festival could be Goafest, it could be the Cannes Lions, Campaign Agency of the Year, or CIDCA. Or any other award, really..
Time and again, I've refused to divulge results.
But there was an instance when I gave in, rather inadvertently, about nine years ago. It was when someone called me from Cannes, when my visa application had been rejected. No spite here, only ignorance and coincidence. The publication I was part of did a news flash based on my report, a few hours before the awards night!
We've come a long way since then, on UX, tech, and a lot of other things. But some things remain.
Some friends from other markets called on me this year, to figure if their clients were winning, a couple of days ago at Cannes.
Some in person, some over mail. Some over phone.
I was surprised. That they were asking. Because everyone else seemed to know.
Journalists standing outside the Palais were discussing how someone who doesn't know s/he is winning (but is) would land up in time to go up on stage to receive his/her Grand Prix/Gold. Some others were detailing how they would.
Results are issued under embargo to the press. That the embargo is not followed in spirit is another issue. No publication that respects its own word puts the news out when under embargo. But some have considered it their karma to do just that, in some instances. And while they may not put it out on record, spreading the joy by word-of-mouth is not seen as a crime.
The real shocker is when PR reps of agencies that win, send out results under embargo. And quite a few of them did, ahead of awards ceremonies at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2015.
There is a joy, there is a certain amount of ecstacy, even purity, in nudity. But there is serendipity in discovery.
The Cannes Lions would do well to rethink its strategy on results dissemination. After all, we've had enough food for thought on the power of the unknown at the seminars.
I must apologise to the journalist fraternity who I'm possibly letting down with this blog. This is the truth though, however badly told.
The author is managing editor, Campaign India @Campaign_India