Publicis Groupe To Contest For Cannes Lions Gongs Despite Self-Imposed Award Show Ban

Publicis Groupe To Contest For Cannes Lions Gongs Despite Self-Imposed Award Show Ban
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Advertising giant Publicis Groupe has revealed it will in fact have 400 of its campaigns entered in this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Publicis Groupe announced almost a year ago that it would shift its promotional budget away from industry events and awards shows until 1 July 2018 in order to focus on the development of its Marcel platform, which was launched in May.

The company said in a statement that it has kept to its own strict rules concerning awards submissions and has not entered any work in this year’s Cannes Lions festival on its own behalf, bar one exception.

The only exception to this is BBH London’s ‘3 Billboards’ campaign for Justice4Grenfell, the organisation trying to get justice for the victims of the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster in London.

'3 Billboards' campaign

However, some of Publicis Groupe’s clients and partners have taken on the cost of entering 399 campaigns by the network’s agencies in Cannes Lions.

Furthermore, 12 Publicis Groupe leaders have been invited to attend the festival as jury presidents or as part of the awarding juries.

Their presence will be financed by the Cannes Lions, in line with the festival’s policy of covering the cost of all delegates, from any company, who serve on its juries.

Twelve additional Publicis Groupe leaders are members of the shortlist juries and will not be attending the festival, and 12 members of the company have been invited by the festival to compete in Young Lions competitions after winning at regional stage competitions.

Twenty-five of the company’s employees have been invited to attend Cannes Lions by their clients and by other industry partners, while 15 Publicis Groupe employees have decided to attend the festival by personally funding their trip.

Twenty Publicis Groupe account leaders will be participating in key client meetings taking place in Cannes, but won’t be attending the festival. Their presence will be funded by Publicis Groupe.

Finally, as part of its partnership with Cannes Lions’ digital offering, ‘The Work’, Publicis Groupe has been invited to present Marcel at the festival.

Arthur Sadoun, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, said: “Twelve months ago, we took the decision to pause our investment in promotional industry events for one year. It was a difficult but necessary sacrifice at a moment when our industry is in need of radical change.

“It gave us the means, the focus, and perhaps more importantly, the sense of urgency, to reinvent the way we work and start building Marcel.

“I would like to deeply thank our clients, whose commitment to creativity and to our relationship means we have been able to keep our promise that no work deserving to be judged this year would miss out.

“The investment they have made to ensure that what we are doing together is celebrated demonstrates their belief in our work and the creative value it delivers. I know I speak for the entire groupe when I say we’re extremely grateful to them for their incredible partnership.

“And of course, a big, big ‘merci’ goes to all of our people. The groupe’s creative community has had to shoulder much of the weight of our decision to pause our promotions this year, and they have been outstanding during this period, which will come to an end on July 1st.

“Together our efforts have already resulted in the very successful unboxing of Marcel, so there is no doubt that it has all been worth it.

“Finally, I want to say thank you to the Cannes Lions for inviting us to present Marcel at this year’s festival, and for their partnership through ‘The Work’.

“It will be only for a couple of hours, but we are really looking forward to having the opportunity, one year later, to share why we believe that the decision we took was right for our people, our clients and hopefully for our industry.

“The festival has always held a special place for Publicis Groupe, and we’re delighted to be coming back in 2019, stronger than ever.”

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