US Ogilvy PR team take gold in Young Lions PR Competition

Michael DiSalvo and Ben King, account directors at Ogilvy PR’s New York office, have won gold at the 2016 Cannes Young Lions PR Competition.

Ogilvy Young Lions 1

Ogilvy PR’s Michael DiSalvo, CEO Stuart Smith and Ben King

Competing against 17 other teams from around the world, DiSalvo and King are the first US team to win gold in the Young Lions PR Competition.

After winning regional competitions and being chosen to represent their nation, each team was then asked to compete at the festival in Cannes, creating a campaign to end retailer food waste on behalf of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Ogilvy duo created an Extra Ordinary Food campaign aimed at shifting public perception through partnerships with beauty magazines. The predominant message was, ‘good food does not need to always look perfect.’

DiSalvo and King said: “Cannes Young Lions has been an extraordinary experience and it was fantastic to work on a brief around such an important cause. We hope it showed how PR still has the ability to change behaviour and influence outcomes. We have been so grateful for the support we have had from Ogilvy PR, the PR Council and NCM along the way.”

Matt Watson and Paul Stollery from Hotwire, representing the UK in the global competition, won the bronze award. Silver was won by Hungary.

Watson, programme director at Hotwire, said: “We were really proud to represent the UK in this year’s competition. Cannes has been an incredible experience and we’re absolutely delighted to be coming home with bronze!”

The PR Young Lions competition asks for teams of two PRs under the age of 30. On Saturday 18 June, the teams were each given a brief by Nikhil Seth, executive director at United Nations. On the following day the teams had 12 hours to create an effective and creative campaign.


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