Murdoch to Speak at Cannes

NEW YORK News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch will speak at next year’s Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival at the invitation of WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam, the festival said today.

Murdoch is expected to talk about how the media industry is changing and in particular the rise of new media. Y&R will sponsor the speech, which is scheduled for June 19, the Thursday of Cannes’ week-long festival, which will start June 15 and end June 21.

“I believe that our industry has a major seat at the table in terms of what’s happening, how we influence the media industry and business in general,” said Y&R worldwide CEO Hamish McLennan. “Cannes should be the forum where we raise the debate in all issues.”

Y&R this year hosted a speech by former vice president Al Gore, who spoke about his efforts to raise awareness of global climate change. Y&R handled advertising around the July Live Earth concert that Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection put on.

Murdoch this year added Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, to a media portfolio that includes Fox Broadcasting, MySpace, Sky TV and the New York Post.

“It speaks volumes about our industry that Rupert wants to come and talk,” said McLennan. “There are so many rapid changes. Cannes is truly the forum where the best and brightest minds in our industry get together to discuss what’s happening. That gives us every reason to have somebody who in his own way is influencing our business.”