At the final awards ceremony of the Cannes International Advertising Festival in June, attendees gazing through their opera glasses might have noticed a touch of red and a wet glimmer in the eyes of Smuggler
co-founder and EP Brian Carmody, who stepped onto the stage to accept this year's Palme d'Or. Sure, that could have been from excessive partying the night before, and the night before that, but more likely, those were residual signs of the joyous tearfest he'd had earlier that day, when he'd called his partner/co-founder Patrick Milling Smith, half-choked, to inform him of the big news. "Yeah, he was crying," Milling Smith testifies, to Carmody's chagrin. But who wouldn't? The award is arguably advertising's most coveted production honor (next to this one). It's also a testament to the fact that the five- and-a-half-year-old company, once the renegade start-up, has grown up to become one of the industry's most solid, well-respected production outfits. But couple that with the fact that it still retains the sense of ambition, creative daring and youthful energy of its early years, and you have the killer combination that earns Smuggler the 2007 honor of Creativity's Production Company of the Year.