Cannes juries reflect a world view but is that diversity winning out over experience?

Cannes Lions has named the 413 jurors who’ll be sitting in darkened rooms as delegates sample the delights of La Croisette. This year they come from 50 countries including Georgia, Nigeria, Kenya and Sri Lanka for the first time. 46 per cent are women.

New Lions include Creative eCommerce, Brand Experience & Activation, Social & influencer and Sustainable Development Goals even though there has been an overall reduction in the number of categories within individual Lions.

Cannes Lions MD Jose Papa says: “The job of the Cannes Lions jury is to act as the custodians of creativity and celebrate work that demonstrates the value of creativity in all its forms. We are committed to ensuring that our juries include a diverse range of people from across the branded communications ecosystem.”

Diverse the list of jurors certainly is with a marked absence of adland household names, especially from the UK. One who will be there is Kate Stanners from Saatchi & Saatchi, who chairs the Print and Publishing Lions. Saatchi owner Publicis Groupe is not entering at Cannes this year although that doesn’t seem to have kept them away from the juries. Newly-anointed Publicis Global CCO Nick Law is chairing Creative eCommerce, whatever that might be.

It seems safe to say that Publicis will return to the Festival in 2019, provided that boss Arthur Sadoun’s about-to-be-unveiled AI tool Marcel doesn’t tell him not to.

Two high profile clients are chairing juries: Burger King’s global CMO Fernando Machado for Creative Effectiveness and Apple creative supremo Tor Myrhen on Innovation, the first time Apple has been formally involved in the Festival.

The Film jury, still the big one for creatives of a certain vintage, will be chaired by Almap/BBDO Brazil CCO Luiz Sanchez with, so far as I can see, no representatives from the US or UK aside from Droga5’s Sally-Ann Dale. So it will be interesting to see what they produce.

The 2018 Cannes Lions Awards will be presented at ceremonies taking place each evening throughout the Festival from June 18-22.

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