A campaign composed of stock images has just won a Lion in Cannes

There is something wrong with our industry’s rewards craze. Especially when a campaign consisting of stock images wins a Bronze Lion in Cannes.

Spoiler alert – stock images were also “stolen” from a graphic designer.

Building a campaign from stock images may seem uncreative. Winning a Lion of Cannes with a campaign consisting of stock images might sound silly. And when said stock images are also “copied” from the work of an illustrator who was not involved in the campaign, we begin to see the real problem with the reward state of our beloved advertising industry. .

Dutch illustrator Rik Oostenbroek was very surprised when he saw that a Hyundai campaign designed by the MullenLowe SSP3 agency in Colombia used stock images that blatantly copy his signature style. He was even more surprised to learn that the said campaign had won a Bronze Lion in the Cannes Lions Print & Publishing category this year, as well as a Wood Pencil at the D&AD Awards last month.

Oostenbroek told Adweek that he first noticed Hyundai’s work on Behance and left a comment about the similarity to his work. He then received a response from Carlos Andrés Rodríguez, CCO of MullenLowe SSP3, who apologized and told him that the agency had no intention of stealing his job. In their exchange, Rodriguez also clarified that the agency had legally purchased the rights to the illustrations through Shutterstock.

“If you literally copy and paste something and paste a line of copy on it, I don’t think it deserves a price.” – Chris Garbutt, Global CCO, TBWA Worldwide

Of course, stock images can find their place in high-quality designs. But when such a simple and straightforward use of something created by something else can earn you one of the most prestigious awards in our industry, you have to wonder what legitimacy these awards still have …

“Creating a campaign from a collection of stocks is pretty lazy. If we had known that was the case, it would have altered our assessment of the room. “- a juror of the Cannes Lions, speaking on condition of anonymity

Here are the 3 announcements and their Shutterstock counterparts. What do you think?

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