Submitted by admin on Tue, 06/27/2017 - 12:50

Speaking at the Press Centre at the Palais des Festivals, WPP Founder and CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell said that the Cannes Lions could be done ‘differently and better’


The Press Centre at the Palais des Festivals at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2017 turned into a centre of speculation last Friday, as WPP founder and CEO Sir Martin Sorrell questioned the very viability of holding the advertising festival in Cannes. During an informal conversation with journalists at the Press Centre, Sir Martin said, “Cannes in June is not necessarily the right place and time for it. There are places in Paris, New York, London and Berlin – even Bangalore - where it could be held. I think it can be done differently and it can be done better. Every agency and client we have is going through vast technological, goal and structural changes and Cannes should be no different.”

He noted how expensive it has become to send a delegate to Cannes because of the fact that it is held at a prime holiday destination on the French Riviera, and revealed that the WPP Group has this time cut down on the number of delegates it sends to the festival from the usual 1000-odd people to about 500. He also said that the Cannes Lions festival is growing disproportionately big and unwieldy, and hence becoming a confusing proposition for delegates who are hard put to choose which part of the content they will consume.


Meanwhile, the organizers of Cannes Lions have announced the creation of an advisory committee to help shape the future of the festival and ensure that it continues to respond to the needs of the industry. Comprising major advertisers, partners, agency networks and the Mayor of Cannes, the committee will be a platform for stakeholders in the event to share their views and recommendations around all aspects of the Cannes Lions experience.

According to a communiqué, commitments have already been received from Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of Procter & Gamble, Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever, Fernando Machado, Head of Brand Marketing, Burger King, Fiona Carter, Chief Brand Officer, AT&T and Jan Derck van Karnebeek, Chief Commercial Officer at Heineken, with more members to be announced soon. “As well as clients who have offered to help shape the future of the festival, we will – as usual – consult with all global creative leaders, heads of holding companies and other major partners,” said Philip Thomas, CEO of Ascential Events, organizers of Cannes Lions.

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