The organisers of Cannes Lion has responded to agency concerns that the annual event had become too expensive in these more parsimonious times, today announcing a string of changes to the annual trophy-a-thon.
Ascential, the organisers of the annual advertising festival, has announced that the structure will move to run over a five-day-period, from Monday 18 June to Friday 22 June, and will now integrate Lions Entertainment and Lions Innovation within the main Festival.
Some of the Lions awards will also be rebranded “to protect the status of the Lion as the global symbol of creative achievement”. See a list of changes below.
News of the changes has also prompted Publicis Groupe to announce that it will return to global awards after a 18-month hiatus forced upon it by CEO, Arthur Sadoun, who banned all his worldwide agencies from entering any awards in an effort to cut costs. However, Publicis has added it will skip Cannes in 2018 and not return until 2019. The holding company preferring to support its own Viva Tech conference in Paris.
In a statement Sadoun said: “Ascential’s decision to re-center the Cannes Lions’ focus around creativity is commendable, and Publicis Groupe is looking forward to attending the Festival in 2019. We are pleased that our decision to refocus our investments for 12 months in order to create the platform of the future has inspired a larger discussion in the industry, leading to what are clearly some positive changes. Publicis Groupe has always been a driving force for innovation, and we remain strongly focused on and committed to creative excellence. Viva Tech 2018 will be a real celebration of transformative ideas and initiatives and a fitting precursor to our return to industry events from September 2018.”
Among the changes Cannes Lions is instituting for 2018:
• The festival will run for only five days instead of the usual eight days.
• The cost of a delegate pass will be reduced by €900 ($A1400).
• The festival will introduce nine content “tracks” (see below) that will guide the festival programming.
• More than 120 award subcategories to be scrapped.
• Three Lions will be culled including the cyber, integrated and promo and activation categories.
• Five new (unnammed) Lions will be added.
• A single piece of work can be entered in no more than six Lions contests.
• The points system is changing to further prioritize winning a Lion over getting shortlisted.
• Cannes itself has come to the cost-cutting party and will offer benefits that include a freeze on hotel prices for 2018 and fixed-price menus (no more than $A45) at some of the cities 50 restaurants and eateries.
Next year’s changes will also include a new content tracks;