Cannes Lions to donate $518,000 to Palau Pledge

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 9 January 2019

Cannes Lions is donating approximately $518,000 to Host/Havas' Palau Pledge after the Australian-founded conversation effort took out three Grand Prix at the 2018 festival of creativity.

The money, €323,280, is the total of all entry fees submitted for the awards festival’s Sustainable Development Goals Lions, which debuted in 2018 and honour marketing efforts that support the United Nations’ 17 Global Goals.

Palau Pledge was one of the standout campaigns at Cannes Lions in 2018, encouraging all visitors to the Micronesian nation to sign an agreement, stamped into their passports, promising to respect and protect its natural resources.

The campaign, the brainchild of Laura Clarke, and three other marketers and Palau residents, including Nanae Singeo, Jennifer Koskelin-Gibbons and Nicolle Fagan, gained a number of accolades and celebrity support last year.

Palau Pledge saw Host/Havas become the most awarded Australian agency at Cannes Lions in 2018 taking out seven Lions, including three Grand Prix (Direct, Titanium and SDG) and a gold in Brand Experience and Activation.

Read more: Behind Palau Pledge: The campaign that's changing immigration policy

As part of Cannes Lions' focus on using creativity to positively impact the world, the organisation is following through on its own pledge to donate all the SDG Lions entry free to the nonprofit client taking top honors.

Specifically, that means the money from the 898 entries in 2018 will go to the Friends of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary and the Palau Pledge Legacy Team.

“These funds are pivotal to the project continuing, and we are thrilled to be able to see the Palau Pledge grow and develop,” Clarke said.

“We’ve already seen the local and global impact it can have, with Hawaii and New Zealand introducing similar pledges, and we want to do more to initiate change worldwide. A key element for us as a team is to be able to meet with leaders from countries and organizations all over the world and share the Palau Pledge philosophy.”

The money will be used to launch a new phase of the Palau Pledge, including a business accreditation program, a pledge-focussed STEM educational curriculum for school children, a global leadership initiative aimed at helping similar programs take root in other countries.

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