12 Conversations About the Past, Present and Future of Advertising


Annie Leibovitz and Gordon Bowen

Photographer; chairman and CCO, McGarryBowen

AW: You’re here to talk about your current campaign for Disney, but your best known work together is probably the 1980s AmEx Portraits series. Which of those portraits are you proudest of?

AL: Sammy Davis Jr. sitting was kind of amazing. I wanted to be on the outskirts of Las Vegas as the lights came up. And the lights didn’t come on because they were on an automatic timing system.

GB: The combination of Wilt Chamberlain and Willie Shoemaker. Those two white tuxedos with this little guy and this big, gigantic man … it told a story that I really like in a sort of a fun, unexpected, who’d-a-thunk-it kind of way.

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


Martin Sorrell


AW: Has Cannes gotten out of hand?
MS: You wonder whether it’s gone perhaps too far and how big will be big enough. I’d like to see it include data more. … You maybe have to expand some part of it, and you have to contract another part of it.

AW: Where’s the ad business going?
MS: There’s 1.3 billion Chinese. By the law of averages, they’re going to be better than a country of 60 million people like the U.K. They’re going to produce better advertising agencies, and maybe even a better advertising festival. [Cannes festival chairman] Terry [Savage], watch out.

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


Michael Roth

CEO, Interpublic Group

AW: Why do holding companies get such a bad rap?
MR: [Laughs] Well, I don’t know. It depends on which holding company you’re talking about.

AW: How frustrating was it to hire Carter Murray as Draftfcb’s new CEO and have his previous employer, Y&R, keep him on ice with a six-month notice period?
MR: Contracts are contracts, and I understand it. We want him here as soon as possible. But some people view it differently, and that’s part of the business. Once he comes and hits the ground running, no one will know about this period that he was on garden leave.

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


David Lubars and Andrew Robertson

CCO, BBDO North America; CEO, BBDO Worldwide

AW: How do you translate creativity to mobile?
AR: Mobile is probably the fattest word in our business at the moment. It’s not even clear what it’s used to describe. When you’re creating work for mobile, [you have] to recognize that your audience is really even more likely to be snacking rather than feasting. The biggest bear trap with mobile is thinking that long-form content has a place there. It’s got to be instant.
DL: And yet, it still has to be part of whatever the big idea is. It has to be connected to something bigger. That’s what the new campaign is today.

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


Laura Desmond

Global CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group

AW: Has digital media overtaken creative?
LD: In this day and age, you have a fusion of distribution and messaging happening, and where you reach people and the context [in which] you reach people is as important if not more important now than what you say.

AW: Any more you can share about your how your new Twitter deal is structured, and what you’re looking to accomplish?
LD: We’re Twitter’s largest partner as it is now. We’ve done tremendous work with them—whether it be Oreo, Coca-Cola, P&G—over the last 18 months. The reason that we entered the strategic partnership with them is [Twitter CEO] Dick [Costolo’s] view of the world, his view of the future, is very aligned with ours. It’s about experiences. It’s about getting consumers and people to participate in brand stories.

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


Keith Reinhard

Chairman Emeritus, DDB Worldwide

AW: What did you learn from Bill Bernbach about being persuasive?
KR: We learned all about storytelling, all about irony. … My dream was to take Bill’s ideas—his creative philosophies and his insights into human nature—and to build a global network based on those philosophies. That’s what we’ve been about since 1986.

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


Marla Kaplowitz

CEO, MEC North America

AW: You’re a media agency CEO. Why come to a creative festival?
MK: Media is creative. … It’s about how you can have an imagination and think differently. Also, there is media here. The ironic thing is, if you look at the Media Lions, the majority of wins tend to come from advertising agencies, not from media agencies.

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


Miles Young and Tham Khai Meng

Worldwide CEO, Ogilvy & Mather; Worldwide CCO, Ogilvy & Mather

AW: Back at the office, you two share a desk?
TKM: [Laughs] Yes, we share a table. On my side, I’ve got the Cannes Lion award, which on a very playful day I assembled some Lego bricks to make it look like a real Cannes Lion. So we have the real one on the right-hand side and the playful one on my side.

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


Tom Bernardin and Mark Tutssel

CEO, Leo Burnett Worldwide; CCO, Leo Burnett Worldwide

AW: You’ve done well here with your “Small World Machines” work for Coca-Cola, which tried to bridge the gap between India and Pakistan. Where’s it going next? 
MT: There’s no reason why it can’t go to other parts of the world, from the Middle East to Korea.

AW: Any concerns about bringing a client into a conversation that’s fairly volatile?
TB: Well, a leadership brand can do that, though, can’t they?

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


Chuck Porter

Chairman, CP+B

AW: How did working on the “Truth” anti-tobacco campaign influence your decision to stop smoking?
CP: This was really anti-teen smoking, but it was very interesting because all the research says that for most people, if you quit smoking before you’re 40, within a few years your body heals itself. Since I was way over 40 at that point, I’m like, I’d better quit today!

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


Linda Sawyer

CEO, North America, Deutsch

AW: What do you hope to get out of Cannes?
LS: Making great business connections, with both existing clients, hopefully prospective new clients.

AW: Any luck this trip?
LS: It just seems that wherever I am, I end up sort of having these informal meetings—literally on a street corner, in an elevator, in a restaurant, in a lobby.

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni


George Lois and Lee Clow

creative icon; Global Director, Media Arts, TBWAWorldwide AND Chairman, TBWAMedia Arts Lab

AW: Lee, the posters for your and George’s talk this week play on some of his famous magazine designs. Why?
LC: [George is] one of those hero art directors from the ‘60s that inspired me to want to be in the ad business. One of the things that’s most amazing in his portfolio and his repertoire were all those Esquire magazine covers.

AW: George, this is your first time in Cannes?
GL: I’m here because Lee asked me to come. He considers me kind of a mentor. We all have had our mentors, big time. Mine was Paul Rand.

Photo: Alfred Maskeroni