Weber Shandwick CEO Gail Heimann named Cannes Lions PR jury president

FleishmanHillard's Anne de Schweinitz is leading the Pharma Lions jury.

Next year's PR Lions jury chair, Gail Heimann
Next year's PR Lions jury chair, Gail Heimann

CANNES, FRANCE: The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has named Weber Shandwick president and CEO Gail Heimann as jury president for the 2020 PR Lions.

Heimann said that she is looking forward to celebrating work that is "inspiring movements, driving solutions and creating opportunity for businesses, for organizations and for society."

"As the world has become more complex, so, too, has our industry," Heimann said via email. "The PR industry has always had a role in influencing change, but we now have a mandate to lead this change. A tall order, but one we are built to deliver."

Heimann has served on three juries at Cannes: president of the PR Jury in 2012; member of the inaugural jury for Glass: The Lion for Change in 2014; and member of the Titanium Lions Jury in 2018. 

In July, Interpublic Group promoted Andy Polansky to chairman and CEO of Constituency Management Group, which includes Weber. Heimann replaced him as chief executive officer of the agency and continued as the firm’s global president, a position she has held since 2013. Heimann reports to Polansky. 

She is also chairwoman of the PR Council and sits on the board of the Lagrant Foundation. Heimann was named PRWeek’s Global Agency Outstanding Professional at the 2019 PRWeek Awards U.S.

Michelle Hutton, CEO of Edelman in Australia and chief growth officer of the agency’s Asia-Pacific region, was jury president of the 2019 PR Lions.

After years of frustration for PR agencies about creative shops winning the bulk of trophies at the festival, the Cannes Lions are revamping this year’s PR Lions to better represent the communications industry and the challenges facing its staffers.

The festival is also planning to launch the Creative Business Transformation Lions next year. Content themes are set to include "creativity is the business growth engine" and "post-purpose: brand accountability and activism."

Anne de Schweinitz, global MD of healthcare at FleishmanHillard, will serve as jury president of the Pharma Lions, which are part of the festival’s health track. De Schweinitz has been featured repeatedly on PRWeek and MM&M’s Health Influencer 50 list

Other 2020 jury presidents include Susan Credle, FCB’s global chief creative officer, for the Communication Track Titanium Lions; Jae Goodman, Observatory CEO, for the Entertainment Lions; and Debbi Vandeven, VMLY&R’s global chief creative officer, for the Social & Influencer Lions.

For the first time, more than half of jury presidents (53%) will be women, up from 33% this year.

The festival is scheduled for June 22-26, 2020. Entries for the Lions are set to open on January 16. 

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