Group creative director, DDB, Chicago
Though he's an art director by training, Mark Gross, 36, says he's well prepared to judge the traditionally copywriter-heavy radio category at Cannes this year. "I always say, 'If you're not a good writer as an art director, you're just a graphic designer,'" Gross says. "I always consider myself both." Though the newbie Cannes juror is aware there's a lot of work ahead of him, Gross hopes a plan to allow judges to listen to the entries on portable audio players will afford him some time to appreciate the Cote d'Azur.
"If the spot's good enough that it can take me away from looking at naked women, it's a winner," he says. A graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in advertising design, Gross' first job out of college was designing movie titles and logos for post-production house R. Greenberg Associates.
A year later, he landed a job as a junior art director at Chiat/Day in New York, working on MTV, Reebok and the New York Lottery. For the past 11 years, he's been with Omnicom's DDB in Chicago, rising from art director to group creative director on the Anhueser-Busch account.
This year will be Gross's first at the Cannes festival, though he won a gold Lion in film last year for the television version of the "Real Men of Genius" campaign. He's hoping to have similar success in Radio's inaugural entry at the festival this year.