LONDON: It has been ventured by a cynical minority that the Cannes Lions annual gongfest confers a prize for just about every marketing activity other than drawing breath. They were wrong!

Out in the cold, denied the comfort of a Lion in their lap since the Awards' inception in 1956, PR executives have languished unacknowledged - except by their bank managers.

But take heart! In 2009 this outrageous injustice will at long last be rectified – assuming, of course, that come next summer there will be survivors in the worlds of advertising and PR able to afford the event's delegate fees, plus travel, hotel and champagne bills.

Lording it over the brand new PR Lions will be a real live British Lord, albeit one ennobled for political reasons rather than a quirk of birth.

He is Lord Tim Bell, famed glove-puppeteer for overseeing three winning election campaigns from 1979-1987 for the UK Conservative Party and prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

The curtain-up event at next year's Lions' Den will be the PR prize followed by more proletarian pursuits such as the Direct and Promo Lions.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff