Entries for Cannes Lions have fallen for the second year in a row despite Publicis Groupe agencies re-entering the fray.
The annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity received 30,953 entries into this year’s awards, down 4% from 32,372 in 2018.
Last year the number of award entries had fallen by over a fifth (21%), following Publicis Groupe’s decision to withdraw from all marketing and awards shows in 2018.
The consecutive drop in entries comes despite Cannes Lions launching two new award categories in 2019: Creative Strategy, which specifically recognises strategists and planners; and Entertainment Lions for Sport.
These two new awards categories received 848 and 702 entries respectively.
Meanwhile, the number of entries from the world’s biggest advertising markets has fallen year on year: the US is down 2% to 8,138; the UK Is down 8% to 2,268; and Brazil is down 2% to 2,093.
However, the most popular category – Film Lions – has bucked the trend with a substantial rise in entries this year: up 29% to 2,793.
While Brand Experience entries are also up slightly (0.7% to 2,353), Cannes Lions’ most-entered categories are all down from last year: Direct (-19% to 2,005); Film Craft (-24% to 1,924); Media (-15% to 2,196); Outdoor (-9% to 2,389); and Print & Publishing (-13% to 1,252).
Philip Thomas, the chairman of Cannes Lions, explained that changes made to the awards structure in 2018 resulted in a "refocus" towards "absolute quality".
He said: "The industry is concentrating on the absolute quality of their entries, allowing everyone in the marketing and advertising community, and particularly brands, to benchmark their output against the world’s very best.
"In 2019 we’re excited to see the entries into the Lion Awards reflect the absolute highest quality of creative work across the 27 distinctive disciplines."