Lowe Roche’s ‘Personal Apology’ makes PR shortlist in Cannes

Last year, Canadian agencies submitted just three entries to the Cannes Lions PR competition, none of which made the shortlist. This year, a relatively impressive 27 entries were submitted, but just one showed up on the shortlist. That distinction goes to Lowe Roche and Johnson and Johnson for “Personal Apology (Just For You).” The campaign, […]


Last year, Canadian agencies submitted just three entries to the Cannes Lions PR competition, none of which made the shortlist.

This year, a relatively impressive 27 entries were submitted, but just one showed up on the shortlist.

That distinction goes to Lowe Roche and Johnson and Johnson for “Personal Apology (Just For You).” The campaign, which recently won gold at the Marketing Awards and at the Clios, saw customized songs and music videos sent to 65,000 women to apologize for O.B. tampons disappearing from shelves due to a “distribution problem.” Lowe Roche recorded “literally thousands of unique names” so that women could have the tune song to them, according to the official submission. Recipients could also download a coupon at the end of the song.

The personal apologies were a huge hit, generating more than 1 million Facebook shares and 1.8 million Twitter impressions, turning a potential PR disaster into a “positive expression of goodwill.”

The PR Lions is one of the newer competitions in Cannes, launched in 2009 with just 431 entries. In 2012, 1,130 campaigns were entered, up from 819 last year.

Canada has shown relative indifference to the competition entering just six times in 2009, five times in 2010, and then just three last year.

And while the jury is comprised of  “senior practitioners from international PR agencies and consultancies,” according to Festival organizers, the winners’ lists have typically been dominated by advertising agencies.

Last year the Grand Prix went to Clemenger BBDO and the year before that it was TBWA\Chiat\Day.

The winners in the PR competition will be announced at the awards ceremony Monday night along with the Promo & Activation and Direct Lions.

The PR list was released Sunday afternoon, following Direct and Promo & Activation lists which came out first thing Sunday morning. Click here to see how Canada did.

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The WPP agency wins after a three-month, North America-wide review