Cannes isn’t about awards any more, it’s a trade fair

Well no harm in that, especially for awards owner EMAP from the UK who can use the revenue.

But one suspects there’ll be more attention this year on the meetings arranged by big clients like Procter & Gamble, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s address on Wednesday when he accepts the ‘media person of the year’ gong and anything Maurice Levy chooses to say about the Publicis succession on Friday than there will be on any of the awards.

With long lists in each category being announced it looks as though Brazil is about to be the national star of the festival (The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival to give it its full handle). It has no fewer than 68 nominations in the press long list.

The UK looks set for a particularly dismal performance with just 11 nominations in the outdoor category (Brazil tops the list again with 82, a fifth of the total).

Posters used to be the crowning glory of British advertising but that was in the days before they were just used as back-up to TV and made to shout. The kind of wit minted by Collett Dickenson Pearce for the likes of Fiat and Pretty Polly was extinct long before the agency met its demise. Maybe it’s an ‘ealth and safety issue.’ Perhaps advertisers in the UK are fearful of distracting road users.

Anyway we wait to see what Brazil has to offer when the gongs are dished out.

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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.

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