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Cannes 2024: Sabotage attempt on Indian creative triumph by foreign competitor sparks outrage | World News

2 min read

‘The Steel of India’ campaign, which earned a Silver and Bronze Lion at the prestigious Cannes Lions 2024, stands as a testament to the prowess of Indian creativity. Developed by Kondurkar Studio and Early Man Film, this milestone has been marred by controversy due to claims from the foreign agency Wieden+Kennedy (W+K).

W+K’s Indian office alleged that the campaign closely mirrored their concept, igniting a dispute that saw initial hesitation from the Delhi High Court to fully support W+K’s assertions. Despite an out-of-court settlement, W+K has maintained its stance, persisting with their narrative of ownership over the creative idea.

It appears that the Cannes success of Kondurkar Studio and Early Man Film was met with discontent by Wieden+Kennedy, says a report by Zee News’ sister concern DNA. Other reports indicate that their foreign-born CEO attempted to undermine this victory by contacting Cannes organizers and influencing media outlets. This action, perceived by many as a desperate and disgraceful attempt, taints a moment of national pride for India, where Indian companies were celebrated on an international platform.

An analysis of the court order reveals a narrow interpretation. The judge refrained from addressing the substance of the copyright infringement claim, suggesting arbitration instead. Following the settlement, W+K withdrew their appeal, rendering the initial court order moot and ineffective.

The announcement of the Cannes award, achieved by an Indian company, appears to have unsettled W+K, leading them to disparage the work and recognition of Indian creative talent. This incident underscores the persistent challenges Indian creatives face in gaining global recognition, often hindered by foreign entities with vested interests.

This controversy emphasizes the ongoing struggle for respect and recognition faced by Indian creatives. While the ‘Steel of India’ campaign should be lauded for its excellence, W+K’s actions represent a regrettable effort to undermine Indian success. It is crucial for the global community to acknowledge and honour the contributions of Indian companies, celebrating their achievements without prejudice.