The amount of entries and paying attendees at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity has reduced dramatically since 2017.
Last year, more than 41,000 entries were submitted into Cannes, this year that number has dropped to 32,372.
The number of attendees echoes this drop.
While the decrease is noticeable, many are pointing to Publicis Groupe’s decision to withdraw from all industry events until 2019, sending only 84 company representatives to Cannes Lions this year.
As well as this, prior to his exit from the company WPP former-CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said publicly the holding company’s own attendance at the festival would this year drop from 1,000 to 500.
Speaking to Adweek, a Cannes representative has said while the organisers are yet to see final numbers, growth has been strong.
“Given the volume of walk-ups throughout the festival week, which have been higher this year than ever, we’re not able to finalize our numbers as we haven’t tagged all these new attendees and will complete this post-festival.
“However, early indications are that we have strong double-digit growth of both marketers and consultants.”
Though according to a press release from the festival, organisers have already admitted “overall entry numbers are reduced” for 2018.
Others are pinning the decreased attendance down to adland execs choosing not to buy an actual ticket to the festival, allowing them to instead spend their time networking and roaming the myriad activations.
On top of the reduced numbers, some adlanders have been warned by their employers to be on their best behaviour and not treat the festival like a holiday.
Last week, a letter written to staff from an IPG exec was leaked to the public, with IPG SVP of talent Joe Kelly encouraging staff to avoid misconduct and “exercise an abundance of caution when it comes to alcohol”.