Cannes Lions Finally Recognizes Radio

06 July 2004

On May 20 1920 North America's first scheduled broadcast to the general public took place -- a concert by vocalist Dorothy Lutton, courtesy of XWA (CFCF) Montreal.

Eighty-four years on from that momentous event, the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival has finally woken up to the fact that radio -- after newspapers and magazines -- is the world longest established medium and is worthy of its own advertising awards.

America's Radio Advertising Bureau confirmed yesterday that in 2005 the annual Côte d'Azur gongfest will recognize and honour radio commercials for the very first time. Cool, huh?

In the US alone, radio spend totalled $19.6 billion (€15.93bn; £10.71bn) in 2003.

• On the other side of the herring pond, Britain's commercial radio sector, now in its 31st year, reached a historic milestone in the twelve months from April 2003 - March 2004. The medium's share of national advertising revenues finally broke the seven per cent barrier.

The UK Radio Advertising Bureau says it is now shooting for a "daunting" ten per cent share, citing the growth surge triggered by digital radio as the basis for this ambition.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff