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Campaign Middle East - - FRONT PAGE - By Austyn Al­li­son

VMLY&R Dubai has been named the Mid­dle East and Africa’s re­gional best agency of the past 10 years in Cannes Lions’ first Lions Cre­ativ­ity Re­port of the Decade.

The award goes to the agency that has per­formed best across the fes­ti­val’s an­nual agency rank­ings over the last 10 years.

VMLY&R (pre­vi­ously Y&R un­til it merged with WPP sis­ter agency VML in 2018) has pro­duced Cannes Lions-win­ning work over the past 10 years for clients in­clud­ing the In­ter­re­li­gious Coun­cil of Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina, with whom it cre­ated One Book for Peace and One Poster for Peace, which won Gold in 2017 and 2018. This work helped to show Chris­tians and Mus­lims that there is more they have in com­mon than that which di­vides them.

Speak­ing about the award Kalpesh Patankar, CCO of VMLY&R MENA, said: “Our big learn­ing of the decade is that no mat­ter where you work, you have to be will­ing to break the rules. I’m very grate­ful to all of the peo­ple who have brought us this far and con­tributed pas­sion­ately to our story. In the next decade I hope we can write a story that is even big­ger and bolder.”

Georges Bar­soum, CEO of VMLY&R MENA, said: “This couldn’t have hap­pened with­out won­der­ful clients who be­lieved in our ‘con­nected brands’ phi­los­o­phy, whereby great sto­ry­telling is em­pow­ered by tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate brands that not only live in peo­ple’s cul­ture but rather bend it to cre­ate im­pact. Thank you Cannes Lions for be­ing such an in­spir­ing plat­form that pushes the bar higher and higher.” Sec­ond placed MEA agency was TBWA Hunt Las­caris, Johannesbu­rg, South Africa; in third was Ogilvy, Johannesbu­rg, South Africa.

WPP was named the best hold­ing com­pany in the rank­ings. The busi­ness, which has its head­quar­ters in the UK and owns the Grey, Ogilvy, VMLY&R and Wun­der­man Thomp­son net­works, was named Hold­ing Com­pany of the Year at seven straight Cannes Lions from 2011 to 2017, al­though it was sur­passed at the last two events by US ri­val Om­ni­com, which fin­ished sec­ond over the decade, fol­low­ing by third-placed In­ter­pub­lic.

Dur­ing the decade, BBDO picked up 16 Grands Prix, three Ti­ta­nium, 150 gold, 281 sil­ver and 471 bronze Lions.

Win­ning team: VMLY&R has been the re­gion’s top per­former in Cannes Lions’ agency rank­ings

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