TUESDAY 19 JUN 2018 4:09 PM


This year’s Cannes Lions opened with high of 30 degrees, and the sense of expectation creeping over the beach front’s historic promenade. Bigger than ever, the annual festival of creativity is set to cover branding, communications and advertising in a style unique to the iconic French coastline. Communicate magazine, with the ICCO, is working to bring readers daily updates about the public relations representation at the 65th festival of creativity.

If there was a theme for day two at this year’s Cannes Lions, it might be the advance of creativity in communications. Whether branding or public relations, the need for change is paramount – reflected in the diversity of talks and events held in the palais and across Cannes’ picturesque promenade. From the Facebook beach’s Instagram installation, to talks around diversity and risk-taking, to lively discussion on the advancement of women in PR – Tuesday at Cannes had it all.

Despite the presence of corporate brands, however, Cannes Lions does not neglect its more charitable commitments. Today, in a world first, a new campaign directed by acclaimed director Lynn Ramsey was broadcast by SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association, in association with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Entitled ‘Feed Our Future,’ the carefully-curated campaign is designed to communicate pressing global issues – namely hunger - while harnessing the power of the audience in creating seismic change with real impact. “The creative community, we as individuals have got to step up to the plate,” says global advertising stalwart Sir John Hegarty. “We have to use our creative skills and bring that to the charity sector.”

Corinne Woods, chief marketing officer of the World Food Programme, says, “The business piece is simple. We need your creativity to lift the stories that I see every day into the public consciousness.”

And innovation in creativity was a theme that continued to run throughout Tuesday. Hosted by tech company Samsung and corresponding marketing company Cheil, ‘Is technology the saviour or downfall of creativity’ highlighted just how far the industry has advanced in a digital age. Dubbed ‘the rise of the one nation marketer’ by global chief marketing officer for Samsung Electronics, YoungHee Lee, the concept of change through innovation threaded throughout the talk. “Tech brings change and change brings challenges,” says Lee. “But real change can only come through innovation.”

Malcolm Poynton, global chief creative officer for Cheil Worldwide, corroborated Lee’s words. Discussing what he describes as three ‘megatrends,’ Poynton unearthed how the way brands interact with society allows brands to have impact at scale – crucially, brands that were once global are operating, successfully, at a local level too.

Testament to this was the Global Women in PR event, held at ICCO’s House of PR. Celebrating, connecting and supporting independent women in public relations organisations around the world, the late afternoon event brought together women forging a path for themselves in an industry which, although dominated by women, sees many agencies dominated by a men at the c-suite level.

Opening the event, Francis Ingham, director general of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), says, “We’re delighted to be hosting the Global Women in PR drinks reception this evening. We’ve been delighted to always have women in PR as a part of ICCO and the PRCA as well, and I’m personally delighted to be the Global Women in PR ‘manbassador.’”

Sue Hardwick, managing director of Hardwick PR and co-founder of Global Women in PR, says, “We started the initiative and the idea, very simply, is connecting senior women around the world to share best practice, to network and to support each other and our overring aim is to support female talent in this industry.”

Hardwick continues, “We have now got groups in the UK’s major cities, in the Middle East and North Africa, and we have launched earlier this year in Germany, last week we launched in Romania, we have a launch in Singapore in September, and India in October. Lots of things are happening, so have a look, and thank you for your support and hopefully you’ll support what we’re doing. We have to work together, but we’d just like to help women get to the top positions.”

“I think we all know that the PR industry is two-thirds women, and it’s two-thirds women around the world – yet go I the board room and it’s simply the other way round,” adds co-founder Angela Oakes. “Yet the Holmes Report in its survey actually publicise the fact that of the global agencies, only 78 of the CEOs are women. So, there’s a lot to change in the industry, and there’s a lot to support coming from women themselves as well so we can step up to leadership.”

Global Women in PR is supported by Lewis PR, Edelman and Weber Shandwick.

Published in association with the ICCO

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