Cannes Not Dropping “Advertising” from Festival Title

By Kiran Aditham 

Despite Hill & Knowlton CMO/EVP Tony Burgess-Webb’s suggestion that Cannes Lions should drop the “advertising” part from its festival title, the event’s CEO Philip Thomas offered a curt “No, that’s not correct” to our sister blog PRNewser when asked if the festival is doing just that in order to appeal to a wider audience.

Burgess-Webb’s statements about the Cannes Lions stems from the low turnout in the PR category, which was added for the first time at this year’s awards. “The number of the PR category entries that actually came from PR agencies was less than 43%, and the winning entry came from a Sydney-based ad agency. So from point of view of panel of judges–Hill and Knowlton had two judges on panel–it was pretty disappointing.”

So Burgess-Webb held an event with the PRCA, invited 100 agencies to discuss how to attain Cannes gold and came up with this conclusion: “The fact is it’s not an advertising festival, it’s a marketing communications festival. Why not drop the whole title?”

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