Cannes in quotes

The best sound bites from last week's annual Festival of Creativity at Cannes in the South of France.

PRWeek spoke to the most senior movers and shakers from the worlds of PR and marketing services at the Cannes Festival of Creativity last week – here are some of the most prescient comments for PR professionals:

Lynne Anne Davis, president Asia Pacific, FleishmanHillard and chair of judges for the PR Lions: "It’s been an unprecedented year in the history of the PR Lions. Over half of the winners came from PR agencies. We knew it was going to be a breakout year for public relations, because of the quality and progress the industry has shown."

Michael Roth, CEO, Interpublic Group: "I come to Cannes to meet our people from all over the world and to do some recruiting while I’m here. [Cannes] is the recruiting capital of our industry right now."

Maurice Lévy, CEO, Publicis Groupe on the current spate of media agency reviews: "It’s just coincidence. There are very different reasons why advertisers have called media reviews. At least it gives a professional reason to speak about things at Cannes. Most of the time they are unprofessional, but this is at the core of what we are doing."

Edelman president and CEO Richard Edelman on why his agency took so long to embrace Cannes: "I got lost in the snow at Davos. [Edelman creative director] Jackie Cooper said don’t leave this to the ad agencies – we should tell our story about how the marketing services business is changing to communications marketing."

Andy Polansky, CEO of Weber Shandwick: "PR has been elevated in the minds of CMOs and chief brand officers, but we also bring a large team – more than 50 people – because they truly get inspired, not just from the work they see, but also from the connections they make and the time they spend collaborating with their colleagues from throughout the agency."

Steve King, global CEO, Zenith Optimedia: "There’s definitely a risk that we [media agencies] could get disintermediated, because we’re not a technology company – we’re a user of technology – but I actually think our knowledge of the brand and of consumers and technology means we sit at a nice place in this new eco-system to be a much more important strategic supplier to our clients." 

Torrence Boone, VP of agency sales and services, Google: "This year’s Cannes was all about online video. Watch time on YouTube is up 50% globally, 50% of viewership is on mobile devices, and mobile watch time is up 90%."

Arthur Sadoun, CEO, Publicis Worldwide, including MSLGroup: "We have lost our focus on big campaigns and creative excellence. At the end of the week, are we sure there is a winner? It is becoming very difficult to say."

Holly Zheng, president and CEO, BlueFocus: "We have 250 delegates [at Cannes] from China this year, out of a total of 13,500, so we are under-represented in terms of numbers. There are more and more people here from Japan, Korea, and India, but we still have a long way to go."

Diana Littman Paige, EVP, consumer lifestyle and healthcare, Marina Maher Communications: "The energy in the room during the Glass Lions was beyond compare. I’d love to see more female creative directors and agency folks up on the stage, but I give it a 1,000% thumbs-up."

Matt Neale, president, Golin: "The advertising awards were predominantly men, but when the PR Lions were announced it was at least 50% women and that’s something we should be proud of and continue to celebrate."

Terry Savage, chairman, Cannes Lions: "Anything at Cannes takes a while to develop – it’s not an immediate, instantaneous situation. In this, the seventh year of the PR Lions, we’ve seen the real emergence of PR companies as a force in terms of winning creative awards." 

Stuart Smith, global CEO, Ogilvy PR, and PR Lions 2015 judge: "There is more good PR work that should be entered into Cannes. It’s a window into the marketing industry and into the world of PR."

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