Cannes Lions undergoes major overhaul following holding company pressure

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 14 November 2017

Cannes Lions owner Ascential has unveiled a major overhaul of its flagship festival following increasing pressure from advertising holding companies who have come to see it as too expensive.

The changes aim to simplify and modernise the event as well as keep costs down for attendees.

In response, Publicis Groupe, which is withdrawing from all awards in 2018 and spending that money on developing an internal AI platform, applauded the changes and announced it will be returning to Cannes in 2019.

AdNews understands both Publicis and WPP worked with Ascential on the changes.

Among the changes Cannes Lions is instituting for 2018:

    • The festival will run for only five days (Monday to Friday, June 18-22) instead of the usual eight days.
    • The cost of a Complete delegate pass is being cut by €900.
    • The festival will introduce nine content “tracks” that will guide all festival programming as well as the the Lions themselves, which will be grouped under the tracks - Reach, Comms, Craft, Experience, Innovation, Impact, Good, Entertainment and Health
    • Three Lions are being retired (Cyber, Integrated and Promo & Activation), while five new Lions are being added.
    • More than 120 award subcategories are being removed.
    • A single piece of work can be entered in no more than six Lions contests, where before it was unlimited.
    • The points system is changing to further prioritize winning a Lion over getting shortlisted.
    • Lions Entertainment and Lions Innovation are being integrated into the main festival.
    • The festival has worked with the city of Cannes to offer cost-saving benefits including a freeze on hotel prices for 2018 and fixed-price menus (€20 & €30) at more than 50 restaurants across the city.

 The official presentation begins at 10 minutes


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