Grey Singapore has grudgingly returned their bronze lion that they won for the iSea app that never worked but somehow still ended up on the cannes Lions shortlist. Even the developer admitted the app was always broken, but yet it won a Bronze lion, as the case study explained the idea really well, I suppose. The jury members might have a "digital advertising" background or title, but it doesn't mean they know anything about tech. A hashtag was born "iSeaFraud, and countless people tweeted about this issue while Savage made it clear that Cannes Lions would look at the issue after the festival. Finally Grey for Good in Singapore has done the right thing™ and returned the lion - but not without blaming everyone who spotted the app being a fake for its failure.
"During Cannes we said the app was real and its creator, Grey for Good in Singapore, is a highly respected philanthropic unit that has helped numerous non-profit organizations.
Moreover, Grey is one of the most creatively awarded agencies in the world with the highest ethical standards. We won over 90 Cannes Lions this year alone so there is no need for scam projects. However, given the unwarranted, unfair, unrelenting attacks by unnamed bloggers, we are putting an end to this and returning the Bronze Lion so there is not even the hint of impropriety or a question of our integrity. The saying no good deed goes unpunished is apt in this case."
We have a name, sir, It's Åsk Wäppling but Dabitch if you're nasty. The Register isn't an "unknown blogger" either, and you can namecheck most of the writers at The Drum, Haaretz, Mumbrella, Bradchannel and Adweek too.
This is not the first time a fake ad or app has won, and been stripped of, their award but it is as Ali Bullock put it on Linkedin "possibly the saddest moment our industry has faced. Let me reiterate, this award was won on the back of faking a solution to the refugee crisis."
The lowest of the low, really.
Like I said before, it's not a bad idea, but it's obviously technically dumb. If MOAT has two drones on their boats that cover several square miles of ocean on the daily, the smart app would be an image recognition program running on the boats that are receiving the drones' sea footage. Involving satellites, the internet and people who have a minute to kill while they commute, is an obvious massive waste of time where the only purpose served by the people is for PR goodwill. Meanwhile the boats spotted have already sunk before the image reaches the satellites and then reaches back to a person on the tube in London who manages to be observant enough to spot a boat. It's incredible that the jury didn't smell the scam stench at once - but like I said, they probaby don't know much about tech.