Here’s Why These Advertising Giants and Mothers Are Bringing Their Daughters on Stage at Cannes

A new perspective on work-life balance

Sophie Lefebure, daughter of Pum Lefebure, helped create the logo for the panel.
Courtesy of Pum Lefebure

Last year for Mother’s Day New York Magazine interviewed 11 kids about what it’s like to have a mom who is also a boss. Sophie Lefebure, daughter of Pum Lefebure, co-founder and chief creative officer of Washington D.C.-based Design Army, was among the children interviewed. Her answers inspired Goodby Silverstein & Partners chief creative officer Margaret Johnson to create a panel that will cover the perspective of girls and what they think of powerful women in advertising.

“It was so interesting to read Pum’s daughter describing what her mom’s job was like,” said Johnson. “I enjoyed reading it so much that I thought it would make a great Cannes panel.”

In June, at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Lefebure and Johnson, as well as Leo Burnett chief creative officer for North America and CEO for Canada Judy John, will bring their daughters on stage for a panel, Daughters of the Evolution, moderated by documentarian and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield.

“It’ll be interesting to hear a girl’s perspective on what it’s like to have a working mom,” said Johnson. “And hear their take on the type of work that their mom is putting out into the world, how that has an effect on their lives or shapes the kind of people they are.”

Lefebure noted that this panel is a new look at a topic that’s been covered extensively by festivals like Cannes. “Usually there’s a women’s panel thing and it’s like same shit, different day,” said Lefebure. “Everyone is always talking about women in business and it’s like the same story and [Margaret] thought it would be fun to bring our daughters to Cannes.”

Added Lefebure: “When you hear from the kids’ perspective, how they see their mom, it’s quite interesting to see how kids view the role of a woman, a working woman, and how becoming a working woman is effecting a child. It can be positive or negative; it’s up to you how you take it. For people who are 20 or 30-something to see all three of us who are pretty good at what we do in our careers and in life [they will be able] to see another side of that. [That we’re] not perfect, [we’re] crazy, [we’re] busy, [we’re] stressed, I think it brings humanity too—it’s an interesting story to say that it’s OK to kickass and be a mom.”

The panel will be at the Debussy Theater on Monday, June 19. Lefebure’s daughter Sophie, 12, assisted with the creation of the logo for the panel.