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A decision by global advertising company Publicis Groupe to sit out next year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity — mainly because of high costs — has refocused attention on the value of advertising awards shows the world over, including the local showcase, The Loeries. But Loeries CEO Andrew Human isn’t immediately concerned, saying the number of early entries for this year is similar to last year and could top 2016, with the introduction of three new categories including design in digital media and data-driven campaigns. What will be worrying will be Publicis’s absence next year from the Bookmarks (digital media excellence) and the Pendorings (Afrikaans advertising), as the French-based company’s decision also affects all award shows for one year. Local Publicis agencies include OwenKessel Leo Burnett, Publicis Machine, Saatchi & Saatchi, Saatchi & Saatchi Synergize and Liquorice. Money saved by not entering will be used to fund an artificial intelligence system. But, as the tra...

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