Cannes Lions officials have announced that the annual Festival of Creativity will not take place this year following fears around the global coronavirus pandemic. The next edition of the Festival will (hopefully) run June 21-25, 2021.
The event had already been moved from June to October, but following murmurings in the industry that it going ahead at all was inappropriate given the parlous state of the world economy, it left organisers no option but to shelve adland’s biggest annual get together.
Cannes management said in a statement: “As the impact from COVID-19 continues to be felt across the world on consumers and our customers across the marketing, creative and media industries, it has become clear to us our customers’ priorities have shifted to the need to protect people, to serve consumers with essential items and to focus on preserving companies, society and economies.
“Our difficult decision follows in-depth consultations with our partners and customers and reflects the unprecedented societal, health and economic challenges currently facing the world, as well as our desire to remove any uncertainty about the running of the awards and event for our partners and customers.”
Philip Thomas, chairman, Cannes Lions, commented: “Cannes Lions at its core has always been about creativity and the Lions. We realise that the creative community has other challenges to face, and simply isn’t in a position to put forward the work that will set the benchmark. The marketing and creative industries, in common with so many others, are currently in turmoil, and it’s clear that we can play our small part by removing all speculation about the Festival this year. We have tried to make our decisions as early as possible to give the industry total clarity on the situation, and that is why we are announcing this move today.”
Simon Cook, managing director, Cannes Lions, added: “We all look ahead to a more positive time – right now, Cannes Lions will continue to bring the global creative community together and provide inspiration where we can find it. Our recent call for inspirational creative stories from around the world has already garnered hundreds of accounts of our community uniting and showing progress in this crisis. We believe firmly that the Lions continue to offer valuable recognition to that community and we look forward to celebrating and honouring the work in 2021, when the world will hopefully feel more stable, and our community can give their work the focus it deserves.”
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