Does something smell fishy over the Cannes Lions Product Design Grand Prix winner?

Lucky Fish.jpgCB Exclusive: It wouldn't be Cannes without controversy.

Question marks are been raised over the origins of the Product Design Grand Prix at the Cannes Lion. It was won by Geometry Global Dubai for the "Lucky Iron Fish Project", but social media and Wikipedia are suggesting that Geometry Global are not the people behind this worthwhile product.

The credits on the entry list the involvement of Singapore advertising agency Arcade, and its Aussie expat co-founders, Gary Tranter and Matt Cullen. However, both are embarrassed by their names, and footage that they created for a Google job, being used in the Cannes awards entry.

Tranter calls "Bullshit" on the entry, which he says implies Geometry "spotted a need, came up with the Iron Fish idea and somehow designed the little fish".

This morning Tranter released this statement below:

Gary-Tranter.jpg"So many people have been asking me about this and even congratulating me for winning at Cannes I felt I had to write something. I did not win at Cannes and my agency had nothing to do with the entry.

When the guys from Geometry Dubai called me, asking if they could use our Iron Fish footage to raise awareness for the Iron Fish project, I expressed reluctance as it's not normal to release creative work to other agencies, but they assured me it was simply for PR purposes to generate donations.

I agreed. Anything to help this worthwhile project.

I have to say I was surprised to see they won the Product Design Grand Prix at Cannes.

Even more surprised to see they'd used the footage, music and exact words from my script, in their case study video. The video implies the agency Geometry spotted a need, came up with the Iron Fish idea and somehow designed the little fish.


I spent a long time in Cambodia with Chris Charles, the actual product designer of the Iron Fish (though he'd probably hate me calling him that) shooting a spot for my client Google and in the process learnt much about the amazing work they are doing out there. It's not just the Iron Fish you know; the ceramic pot water filtration system is simply brilliant and is delivering clean water to many villages.

In the whole time I was there, I saw no one from Geometry Dubai's Product Design Department, beavering away to help the people of Cambodia.

If winning is at Cannes is part of the PR awareness drive, I've got no problem at all with it, but I don't think you should claim an idea and design when it's not yours.

If you're interested, the ad I shot with Matt Cullen, Rebecca So and Chin Chin-Han Yu can be seen here. Jonathan Finnigan was the Director and the beautiful music was created by Gerard Fitzgerald at Song Zu Singapore.

Gary Tranter
Founder/ECD Arcade

There's no doubt Geometry Global are working with the client and helping them market the Iron Fish and it's global awareness, but where the controversy lies here is that Geometry appear, through their entry, to be taking credit (and thus Cannes ranking points) for creating the Iron Fish. As one ECD Campaign Brief spoke to today said, it's like TBWA Media Arts taking credit for the iPhone product design.



Mike said:

People who think that Cannes is a legitimate advertising festival are probably the same people who think professional wrestling is real.
It's an embarrassment to the industry and is only helping to kill it.

Agency Frog. said:


shameless said:

Absolutely outrageous. They haven't just used clips from his video, they've lifted it whole.

wha....??? said:

If that's true, and it appears that it is, it's not just an absolute disgrace, it's an insult to the genuine ingenuity and hard work of the people who really did do it, and it's incomparably stupid. How the f*** did they not think this would come out?

-GK said:

Strip Geometry Dubai of the Grand Prix.

Award it to Chris Charles.

Someone who actually designed something for good.

This makes a mockery of the festival.

Not your idea, guys. said:

The original idea - and therefore product design - came back in 2008. I'm guessing Geometry did a bit of marketing for the company subsequently launched to promote the fish in 2012 and got carried away with the story telling. Fine if we are judging the marketing collaterals. But their case study is claiming the original concept. They urgently need to distance themselves from the original creative thinking and credit those truly responsible - the canadians. "For good" as concept at Cannes is becoming increasing problematic as it has been taken over by PR practitioners.

TOM said:

Guys, isn't it also strange how VOLVO life paint was actually produced in 2013 just without VOLVO logo

Is it me or it's the same product?

Same-same said:

Agency cheats and lies in case study to win an award.
Nobody is shocked.

Typo said:

Let's just rename Cannes as Scammes.

Credits cads said:

Hopefully this will put an end to the insane cinema long credits list of names to one awarded idea.
Editing the case study video doesn't make you an award winning editor.
Writing the case study doesn't make you an award winning planner or copywriter if you didn't create the original idea.
Scoring the case study video isn't the same as scoring the tvc.
Similarly awards for editing, music, lighting doesn't make writers and art directors award winning creators if their work had no idea to begin with.
And while we are at it, WTF has Regional and Global CCOs and ECDs put their names of work which they weren't part of or done before they even joined, just because they approved the work to be entered.
We get no respect because we do not treat each other with integrity.
It's no longer about the work but the BS of people who have a remote attachment to it.

Just because a catering company provided the food and drinks to the set of Titanic doesn't make it an award winning production house.

Of course Terry won't want this to happen as selling cannes trophies and certs to every 'winner' is a license to print money. That's the other money making side to the awards scam.

Hi said:

It's like Leo Burnette claiming Earth Hour!

Mitch said:

@Credits Cads,

yep, you're absolutely right. But I think it will eventually catch up with them. Like all fraudulent behaviour, it ultimately devalues the product.
Cannes Lions will become just like Monopoly money (if it's not already).

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