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Cannes tackles sexist ads with new ‘Lioness’ award

Before you know it, it’ll be time to pack the Piz Buin and Restore and head for Cannes. And the International Festival of Creativity always has the capacity to surprise us – this time with a new award, ‘The Lioness.’

cannes-lioness-hed-2015We already have the ‘Lion of St Mark,’ which honours old admen, and the Lioness is for ads and other bits of communication that “change the conversation around sex.”

It’s the brainchild of a creative team from DDB Sydney and won the ‘Young Glory’ competition = judged by top DDB creative honcho Amir Kassaei, coincidence say the organisers – to come up with a new award.

Cannes CEO Philip Thomas says: “We love the thinking behind DDB Sydney’s idea. The representation of women in this industry, and in society at large, is something Cannes Lions feels a responsibility to address. Last year, we launched the ‘See It Be It’ initiative to accelerate creative women’s careers in the industry. This year, we’ve been working hard, together with the industry, on a big idea that we’ll be ready to announce in the next two weeks. It’s really encouraging to see that the whole industry—veterans, rookies, male and female—is at a stage where we want to fight for the same vision.”

This is what my friend, and noted equal opportunity crusader, George Parker of Adscam fame thinks: “It takes a lot of egregious advertising bullshit to get me mad these days… ‘Cos, having been in the “Mad Man Trenches” longer than most of my readers have been alive, I’ve been there and done that, often in spades. However, the news that Cannes is considering introducing a “Lioness” category for the best Pro-Women advertising made me choke on my fine Fourth Reich Potato Vodka.”

You be the judge, as they don’t say at Cannes.

Sirs Hegarty and Sorrell as old-style sexists? Outrageous!

Well the proof’s in the pudding (and we presumably won’t be seeing any ads like this effort from JWT India, unapproved by the client.
ford-india-2

Which is what the proposed award is on about I guess.

But isn’t advertising/Cannes in danger of taking itself a little too seriously?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Why do we have to put a badge on something all the time? Why can’t women be recognised in the existing categories? We’re just being lumped in with the ‘other’, like ethnic minorities or disabled people – who are just people, like the female sex.

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