Jury Head Cindy Gallop On Change And Cannes 2024

The aptly named Cindy Gallop is an industry legend who is fast-charging, razor-sharp, and not afraid to tell the truth.

Starting her ad career at JWT London, in her native England, and then moving to Bartle Bogle Hegarty, she rose to found the U.S. branch of BBH in 1998 in New York, and then served as chair of the board.  

Voted Advertising Woman of the Year in 2003, she left the agency side to start her own brand and business innovation consultancy, Cindy Gallop LLC, in 2006.

As an entrepreneur, she’s a crowd-rousing public speaker and the founder of startups including IfWeRanTheWorld and

As the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity approaches (June 17-21) Gallop will once again head the jury for the Glass Lion for Change, just as she did when the festival introduced that category 10 years ago.



We caught up with Gallop for a pre-Cannes interview, edited for clarity and length.

Mad Blog: Speaking of change, what do you think has changed most on the agency side of the industry in the last 10 years?

Cindy Gallop: What has changed most in advertising in that decade is that the female/Black/of color/LGBTQ+/disabled/older members of our industry are far more vocal about how much nothing has changed in a white-male-dominated industry, and are far more determined to take action ourselves to change the industry in our own ways.

MB: How about the festival itself? Aside from adding vast quantities of new award categories, what has changed most? 

Gallop: I only attend Cannes when someone pays to fly me in to speak (or in this case, as a jury president), which is on average every two to three years. I would say, that what has changed is there is much less endorsement and celebration of the worst excesses of our industry: the extravagance, the yachts, the visible spending, the drunken partying. That “hits different” these days.

And there is much more speaking out about the racism, the sexism, the sexual harassment (I did that myself years before MeToo, but I was a lone voice at the time), and more willingness to actively address and end that -- per Brazil’s ‘Dear Simon Cook’ letter of two years ago, and Simon’s action-focused response, including adding a panel on how Cannes and our industry could address racism, which I was happy to be a part of.

That being said, I’ll tell you what hasn’t changed: Cannes Lions is still the only truly global celebration of the absolute best work that our industry is capable of, and in my view it’s a must-attend for everybody.

I coach and advise a number of leaders of small to midsize agencies and holding companies, and for their business development and agency growth goals, I always recommend attending Cannes, even (and especially) if they’ve never been. It’s the one week of the year where you can find pretty much everybody in our industry and everybody on the client side all in the one place, so for biz-dev goals, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Plus, you don’t have to rent a beach to get noticed. Demonstrate precisely what Cannes celebrates -- extremely ingenious strategy + highly creative execution -- and you can impose yourself on the landscape of Cannes to generate buzz, chatter and media coverage to further those goals.

MB: What is the most important thing you do as a jury head? 

Gallop: Make sure every member of the jury gets heard, and that every member of the jury’s perspective is taken into account; make sure to move the process along efficiently; and make sure the best work wins.

MB: Tell us about the kind of work you expect to be judging.

Gallop: That’s pretty obvious: work that drives change.

MB: OK, then. Can you talk about the international vibe of the jury?

Gallop: I’m happy to say that for the Glass Lion, we have a phenomenal jury. I really appreciate how hard Cannes Lions worked to make sure that our jury is extremely diverse and well-rounded, and how they welcomed my input to ensure that it’s truly international.

MB: Aside from your service as jury head, what are you most looking forward to at Cannes this year?

Gallop: I’ll be frank, the jury service occupies most of Cannes -- judging all day Monday-Wednesday, then the Friday is full with press conference, awards rehearsal, various prep sessions and of course the awards themselves.

I am looking forward to delivering my keynote on the main stage in the Debussy Theatre at 4 p.m. Friday June 21, titled  “How To Change Advertising For The Better, Fast.” I say in the blurb, “If you’re fine with the industry as it currently is, this session is not for you.” So no one can say they haven’t been warned.

1 comment about "Jury Head Cindy Gallop On Change And Cannes 2024".
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  1. Thomas Siebert from BENEVOLENT PROPAGANDA, June 21, 2024 at 12:07 p.m.

    Change? Sounds more like "the more things change, the more they remain the same."

    Biting the hand that feeds you is never a good idea, Lucy. Interesting how there's been zero reporting anywhere about Cannes turnout this year, either. Can't imagine why not. 

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