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LONDON, Last Night: Oriel Davis-Lyons, the Kiwi creative director (ex Colenso BBDO) at the New York office of Spotify, has been appointed jury chair of the 2020 Cresta Creative Advertising Awards.

The Crestas were originally held in New York City (from 1993 until 2018). In 2018, the headquarters moved to London when the awards were acquired by Creative Standards International Ltd, a company led by former Getty CD Lewis Blackwell and freelance UK CD Alan Page.

Oriel Davis-Lyons has won more than 100 awards at most major awards shows – including New Zealand’s only D&AD Black Pencil.

His work often uses a non-traditional approach to highlight social issues, such as creating a partnership between Amnesty International and Ad-Block to protest online censorship or a campaign to put graphic warning labels on boxes of ammunition.

In 2016, he wrote a TV spot for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign that Forbes called “a masterpiece of political advertising”.

“We discussed long and hard as to who might best encapsulate our 2020 quest for creative standards,” said Cresta President Alan Page. “We were delighted when our choice of Oriel for the role met with his interest and then agreement.

“He has won 100 awards at major awards shows – including New Zealand’s only D&AD Black Pencil.”

“With a career ranging from working at great agencies such as Colenso BBDO in New Zealand, to R/GA and Droga5 in New York, to now having moved to a world-leading client, Oriel represents the international and creative discipline diversity that we aspire to in these awards.’

Davis-Lyons said: “This year, more than any other, it is important to recognise the work, the agencies and the brands that understand their role and responsibility to shape the kind of world we want to live in going forward.

“People are questioning everything about what we used to call ‘normal’. They want to create a society that is more equitable and more humane and we need to hold up the work that is trying to achieve that.

“Creativity is vital right now because we are facing scenarios that have no precedent and we are tasked with finding answers to questions we have never had to ask before, both for the brands we work for but also within our own walls.

“And all we have is our ability to adapt and imagine something new and better. So, I am hopeful that we will look back on this time as the most creative and most progressive our industry has ever been.”

While several awards have decided to not proceed in 2020, the Cresta Awards are emphasising there has never been a more important time for awards to support the creative industry in demonstrating its value and its values.

To help ease the financial challenges for entrants and to ‘level the playing field’, entry is free this year – but awards ceo Lewis Blackwell has yet to reveal if it’s to be a live show or online.

This year’s deadline for entering is Monday 20 July.

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