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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