Cannes 2009: Fewer Parties, Fewer Bodies

By SuperSpy 

Like I said… we are in the midst of the 2009 advertising awards season. As we roll on up to Cannes, we thought it might be a good idea to see, which of the death stars agencies are planning on reigning in their spending due to the recession. As we began querying agencies on their strategies, an e-mail was leaked to AdAge by a random One Show employee. The email contained a list of the agencies that had entered the show. BBDO topped the list of entrants into the festival spending $250,000 on entry fees.

BBDO Worldwide President-CEO Andrew Robertson said: “Awards matter.” And, “That said, we wish it didn’t cost so much to enter. We are focusing our entries this year on significantly fewer awards shows – the ones we think are most important – and our agencies are being more selective about the work they enter and the categories they enter it in. Accordingly, our overall investment will be down massively this year over last.”

So… what about everyone else? Are the other agencies going full throttle on entry fees? Will Cannes be stocked with just as many bodies as last year? Will the shops be throwing their lavish parties despite the economic downturn? Looks like that answer is going to be a prudent no. Bruce Stockler, VP Corporate Communications at McCann Erickson, New York told us that:

“In terms of total attendees worldwide, we don’t track that centrally; that decision is up to individual offices. But we will not be holding our annual Cannes party this year. As for the New York office, we are still finalizing our plans, but there will be significantly fewer people attending Cannes from New York than in previous years.”

Cossette is also planning on sending less folks to Cannes. JWT is sending around hundred, though we’re not sure if that is a lower or higher number than last year. Other agencies have told us that they have no intention of throwing their annual party nor will they be allowing employees to ring unlimited drinks, a small boat or some blow on the company’s tab. Cannes is still happening, but the big bois sound like this year, they’re going to be counting all the nickels and dimes… As they damn well should.

More: Cannes Takes Back Their Award

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