Despite Publicis Groupe's earlier announcement that it would take a year "pause" from the Cannes Lions Festival, the Groupe will have several high-profile executives at this year's Festival, including chairman-CEO Arthur Sadoun, who will be there to support the Groupe's new AI platform Marcel, which will be presented at an event session.
At the invitation of the Festival, Sadoun, Carla Serrano, chief strategy officer, Publicis Groupe, and Nick Law, the Groupe’s chief creative officer and president of Publicis Communications, will introduce Marcel to the industry on Tuesday on the main stage of the Palais des Festivals.
Says Sadoun: "It will be only for a couple of hours but we are really looking forward to having the opportunity, one year later, to share why we believe that the decision we took was right for our people, our clients and hopefully for our industry."
In fact, 12 Publicis Groupe leaders have been invited to attend the Festival as Jury Presidents or as part of the awarding juries. Their presence will be financed by the Cannes Lions, in line with the Festival’s policy of covering the cost of all delegates, from any company, who serve on its juries.
Also, 12 Groupe members will compete in the Young Lions competitions and 25 Publicis Groupe employees have been invited to attend Cannes Lions by their clients and by other industry partners.
In addition, the Groupe is paying for 20 Publicis Groupe account leaders to participate in key client meetings taking place in Cannes, but they will not attend the Festival. And an additional 15 Publicis Groupe employees have decided to attend the Festival by personally funding their trips.
The Groupe maintains that it has kept to its year-long commitment with regard to awards submissions and has not entered any work in this year’s Cannes Lions festival on its own behalf, with one exception. The Groupe did financially support BBH London’s “3 Billboards” campaign for Justice4Grenfell, the organization trying to get justice for the victims of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London.
That said, some of the Groupe’s clients and partners have taken on the cost of entering what they consider to be award-worthy campaigns developed by Publicis Groupe agencies, representing 399 campaigns as of June 6th.