George Parker: Should We Can Cannes?

George Parker: Should We Can Cannes?

George Parker is the perpetrator of Every week he shares his opinions on the advertising world with PSFK.

George Parker
  • 29 june 2010

I did a swift post this morning on AdScam about the generally fucked up state of the so-called “Cannes International Advertising Awards” that we are now, having to suffer through for the umpteenth time.

As usual, the ad trades continue to polish this festering turd. Hey, the AdAge reporters get to go there for crying out loud and drink Mimosas’ on the Crain family tab. Shit, where do I apply for that job? On Monday, they had a piece titled Cannes Grows Up… Which is the usual ad trade reportage, head firmly shoved up arse exercise, talking about how from next year it will no longer be an “Advertising” festival, it will henceforth become known as an “Effectiveness” festival… Which means exactly fucking what? Perhaps it’s like deciding that the “Oscars” will no longer be a festival for motion pictures, but will become a once a year gang-bang dedicated to determining which movie increased the sales of popcorn by the largest margin, while signing up the highest number of pre-death, crypt buying, vampire movie watching fucktards!

Advertising award shows have always been a bit of a “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” inside joke for those of us in the business. Because we all know they mean absolutely fuck all to the general public, or even the bean counters that actually run the business. They don’t care about your latest Zirconium, Grand Prix, Web 5.0, Best of Breed, Shelf Wobbler Award… Their concern is about how many people can I lay off this week before I collect my performance bonus, stuff it into my numbered bank account beneath the sidewalks of Zurich, and flee the country before the fucking wheels fall off my so-called “Agency of the Future.” An exercise otherwise known as free-market capitalism.

Now the trades are trying to convince us that clients are actually buying into this bullshit. As AdAge reports… Major holding-company executives such as Martin Sorrell, Maurice Levy and Michael Roth engaged in a vibrant dialogue with blue-chip clients like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. Oh dear, oh fucking dear… Apart from the fact that I cannot image anything remotely vibrant coming out of the mouths of these people, they are the heads of three of the largest agency holding companies. The very same people who have, in effect destroyed what once used to be an industry that took a certain pride in what it was doing, and that didn’t see everything in front of their bovine chops as numbers on a profit and loss statement.

As I have written ad nauseum, (My God yes, you groan) the ad biz has changed dramatically since I first got into it back in the Middle Ages. Which is fair enough, because, even though I am a gnarly old curmudgeon, I honestly believe nothing is, or indeed should be, static. It’s just that I object to these bean counting, used car salesmen, ambulance chasing fucktards co-opting what used to be a fun to work in, rewarding and worthwhile business, that people actually looked forward to coming into every day.

In the meantime, I am working on my viral campaign for a Kazakhstan take-away tattoo parlor that should be a shoe-in for next year’s Cannes Plutonium/Holistic/Synergistic/lickatastic fake campaign of the year.

After all, I know all the judges, and yes, they’re all Brazilians.

George Parker is a guest columnist for He is the perpetrator of, which is without doubt, one of the most foul and annoying, piss & vinegar ad blogs on the planet. He is the author of MadScam and his new book, The Ubiquitous Persuaders, which is currently setting the ether ablaze (and which you can order now on Amazon). He will continue to relentlessly promote the crap out of it until you are forced to stab yourself in the eyes with knitting needles.


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