The Grey Group has opted to return the Bronze Lion it won for its controversial ‘I Sea’ app, but has stood by the work, calling questions over its legitimacy an “unrelenting attack”.
The app was designed by Grey Singapore to allow people to scan the Mediterranean ocean for boats carrying migrants but has been criticised as a ‘fake’ since it picked up a Bronze Lion in the Promo & Activation categories at the Cannes Lions.
While Grey Singapore also acknowledged that the app was not yet usable, it continues to stand by the app, even as it opts to return the Lion, rather than face any more scrutiny over the work.
In a statement to AdWeek, the network says: "During Cannes we said the app was real and its creator, Grey for Good in Singapore, is a highly respected philanthropic unit that has helped numerous non-profit organizations.
"Moreover, Grey is one of the most creatively awarded agencies in the world with the highest ethical standards. We won over 90 Cannes Lions this year alone so there is no need for scam projects.
“However, given the unwarranted, unfair, unrelenting attacks by unnamed bloggers, we are putting an end to this and returning the Bronze Lion so there is not even the hint of impropriety or a question of our integrity. The saying no good deed goes unpunished is apt in this case."
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