‘No hasty decision’ over ‘fake’ Lion-winning app

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Cannes Lions chairman Terry Savage said the festival organisation will not “make a hasty decision” about the ‘fake” Grey Singapore app which won a Bronze Lion in Promo & Activation last week.

“We are aware of this – but in the heat of Cannes, we won’t make any hasty decisions to rescind any award,” he told Campaign Asia, as the 2016 awards drew to a close last night.

“We will do a proper review as soon as possible. We’ll contact Grey for fuller background information, and then make a decision after that.

“It’s that simple.”

The app, called I Sea, which Grey stated it had developed on behalf of Malta-based MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station). It is purported to help crowdsource the rescue of migrants lost at sea, using satellite imagery.

However, after online critics pointed out that – rather than live images – the app always showed the same static map images, Apple pulled the app from Apple Store. MOAS also distanced itself from the app, and the controvery is now receiving global news coverage.

Guy Hayward, ceo of New York agency KBS+ told Campaign Asia he had seen creative departments shut down for a month prior to Cannes to do such work, with clients complicit in the tactic.

“Also, if the topic is child slavery, comparing a campaign about that with a campaign for washing powder is apples to oranges,” he said.

“So I am for the idea of separating commercial work and charity work – it is long overdue.”

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