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The Cannes Lions

July 08 2015

Every year the Cannes Lions event aims to prove it is the Premier League for agencies to showcase and promote the best work taking place in our industry, but is it?

Is it still as relevant as it could be, is it truly reflective of the whole industry, can it keep pace with the changes and blurring between the discipline lines we are seeing across the industry, does it serve all aspects of the agency landscape or has it become an elitist white elephant?

From prohibitively high costs, both in financial terms and the sheer investment in time, attending and competing at the festival is out of reach and possibly out of touch for some.  Last month's event provided many highlights and noteworthy winners and their success is not being called into question. 

But there were, as ever, rumblings around why and how certain campaigns did or did not win what award; why advertising agencies were winning PR awards, how digital work won more traditional categories and how the work of independent agencies was under-represented.

What is clear is that the LIONS are a true and accurate reflection of the changes, disruption and flux present in the digital and creative agency landscape. The shift in focus of agencies to become more progressive is being reflected in their work.  The people behind the ideas are less traditional in their thinking and the diversity of skills never broader.

Arguing the relevance of Cannes would be to discredit some of the great work delivered by some of the industries most creative people.  To suggest that Cannes is in a period of evolution and change led by the agency landscape seems to be what we are seeing today.  The proof will be in how the event continues to evolve.