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Under pressure from advertising holding companies who have come to see it as too expensive, Cannes Lions owner Ascential unveiled a sweeping revamp of its flagship festival today, introducing dozens of changes aimed at simplifying and modernizing the event as well as, critically, keeping costs down for attendees.
In an immediate response, Publicis Groupe, which is skipping the 2018 festival and spending that money on developing an internal AI platform, applauded the changes (which it worked on directly with Ascential) and announced it will be returning to Cannes in 2019.