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The creative duo who convinced Cannes Lions to offer free access to its online showcase of campaigns to people under the age of 30 have backtracked on their agreement with the festival organizers.
The pair’s project tackling Cannes began in July, when Quynh Tran, a creative intern at Innocean Berlin, and Toan Mai, an intern at Memac Ogilvy Dubai, set up a microsite called LoveTheWork.com that links through to free case studies of this year’s Cannes Lions winners. They said they were protesting the fact that Cannes requires people to pay for a subscription to access creative work on its official website.
LoveTheWorkMore.com saw more than 60,000 visitors to its site when it was set up.
“It bugged us to think about how many cash-strapped and hungry creatives out there are going through the same hardship,” Tran told Adweek at the time.
After trying to get them to take the site down, Cannes organizers eventually reached an agreement with Tran and Mai to make its official website free to access to those in the industry under the age of 30 to help them develop their skills and creative education.
But now, Tran and Mai are changing tack and departing from their agreement with Cannes.
This time, they say they will revamp their site, now called Lovetheworkmore.com, and make it permanent. It will compile Cannes-winning work not only from this year but throughout the festival’s history and be free to access to people of all ages.
Tran and Mai apologized on LinkedIn for reaching a compromise with Cannes, which they called “bullshit.” They said Cannes’ decision to only make work available to those under 30 was ageist and added that the registration system to log into the official site was made too complicated and inaccessible.
“Our love for the work is neither a one-off, nor a publicity stunt, nor ‘an opportunity to further our own profiles.’ Therefore, our love for the work is back, older, wiser, longer, and heavier than the last time, and is here to stay.With zero affiliation with you-know-who,” Mai wrote on LinkedIn.
A representative from Cannes Lions declined to comment.