Cannes Lions engages Edelman to explain its evolution

Edelman is providing strategic comms support for both the Cannes Lions and its parent company, Ascential.

CANNES, FRANCE: Edelman has been helping the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity as it explains the changes it is making to its event and award programs and re-engages the agency community.

The firm is providing strategic comms support for both the Cannes Lions and its parent company, Ascential. Its teams in New York and London are being led by Jo Sheldon, Edelman’s executive director of media strategy, who is based in London.

Edelman staffers are working alongside Cannes Lions and Ascential in-house teams.

An Edelman representative was not immediately available for comment.

"They began work in September and most recently consulted on the launch of the announcement of key updates to Cannes Lions," said Marian Brannelly, Cannes Lions' senior press and PR manager, via email.

Cannes Lions and parent company Ascential said last week that Terry Savage, chairman of the Cannes Lions, will depart after the end of the 2018 festival. He has worked at the organization for 33 years.

Savage’s departure followed criticism that the festival had lost its creative focus and became too costly and excessive. In response, Cannes Lions consulted with industry players before unveiling major changes for 2018, including a shortened five-day program, a simplified award structure, plans to separate commercial and nonprofit work, and changes to pricing.

In June, Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun said the Paris-based holding company would not participate in Cannes or other industry awards shows for the next 12 months, concentrating on investing in its Marcel AI program instead. It will return to the awards fray in September 2018.

Cannes Lions grew from registering more than 16,000 entries in 2003 to 41,000-plus last year. It brought in $82 million in revenue in 2017.

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