The change reflects the widening focus of the event, which introduced PR awards for the first time in 2009.
The festival organisers explained they were responding to industry feedback to better reflect the changed nature of the awards.
Launched in 1954, and originally known as the International Advertising Film Festival, the event has since incorporated awards for PR, design and creative effectiveness among others.
Philip Thomas, festival CEO, explained: ‘If you view the work and listen to the conversations taking place at Cannes Lions, you realise very quickly that the event has evolved way beyond pure advertising.’
He added: ‘Many of the Grands Prix are now being awarded to experiences, technologies, social media, user-generated content, services, events – the options for marketers now are rich and diverse, and we need to embrace that change.’