Too big success in Cannes Lions raises unexpected issues in Latvian advertising competition

The success of Publicis Latvia in Cannes has raised some interesting and unexpected issues in Riga. For those who have not noticed: The Grand Prix for Good in Cannes was awarded to ‘#StillSpeakingUp DeepTruth’, Propuesta Cívica + Reporters Sans Frontieres, Publicis Mexico / Publicis Latvia, Riga; a first Grand Prix for Latvia.
The Latvian local advertising competition Adwards faced an interesting challenge with the huge success of Publicis.
How can the local agencies compete with the work that has won Grand Prix and multiple Golds in Cannes? Is it even worth entering the local competition when you know that you compete against the Cannes Grand Prix winner? How to judge the work that was produced by a Latvian agency jointly with a big agency from Mexico?
The decision was to create a special category called "creativity export" and move #StillSpeakingUp entry by Publicis Latvia to that particular category. According to Zanete Eglite, the Managing Director of Latvian Art Directors Club this was the best solution to the problem. "This way, we can still judge the globally successful work and on the other hand, offer "purely local" agencies and their work more equal conditions.
Andrey Tyukavkin, the mastermind behind the success of Publicis Latvia has mixed feelings about this decision. “It’s somehow symptomatic of Latvia unfortunately to doubt that it can win big, but we shall overcome this. Both our agencies in Latvia and Mexico received requests from Adwards to prove if – and to what extent – the work has been done in Latvia. Something that hasn’t happened with any other collaboration on any other market”, explains Tyukavkin.
Estonia has not faced similar problems on the same scale yet. Anniken Haldna, the organizer of Kuldmuna, the Estonian advertising awards competition, said that all creative works executed partly or completely by the Estonian creative teams are eligible to enter Kuldmuna in all categories.
“Estonian agencies are also welcome to submit the work they have done for foreign clients,” said Haldna. “The only exception is when only film production is done in Estonia, but the idea is created elsewhere, for example,” added Haldna.
Another issue is how to count the points for the creative rankings in case the work is submitted by multiple agencies. Cannes Lions, for example just divide the points equally between the two entrants. The main Latin American marketing portal AdLatina, for instance has counted the points in a similar way and as a result, Latvia is number 2 in the World in effectiveness ranking.