Cannes Lions appears to be continuing on with its unfortunate tradition of over-representing the US and UK in its juries and under-representing the rest of the world.
The ‘global’ creativity festival published its list of jury presidents late Friday after the weekend had begun here in Asia, and the list is not friendly to this region—or many others for that matter (see below).
In fact, of the 27 new jury presidents listed, 24 of them appear to work in the US and UK. Of the remaining three, one lives in Europe and the other two live in Asia-Pacific. Tough luck for Latin America, Middle East and Africa, with no representation.
Sure, there are a couple of Latin Americans on the list, but one has set up shop in the US and the other in the UK. There are also a pair of Aussies on the list, including David Droga no less, who again, also work in either the UK or US.
The more artistic authority New York and London keep being handed, the more they will remain the castles of creative clout.
No one can dispute appointing a creative icon like Droga. For that matter, every member on the list is highly deserving. It’s not the fault of New York or London if the most of the world’s global chiefs are located there, or if top creative talent is drawn to them like magnets, is it?
Or is that last sentence the type of bias that a global festival is supposed to guard against? I’d argue the more artistic authority New York and London keep being handed, the more they will remain the castles of creative clout.
Except that the world is changing fast outside those centres on many scales—population, mobile adoption, consumer spending power and technological innovation.
During last year’s Cannes festival Campaign Asia-Pacific heard from Asian jury members who felt they had a hard time educating their overwhelmingly Western counterparts about cultural differences and the significance of local campaigns.
China and India, with their 2.5 billion consumers will not have a single jury president at Cannes this year.
“It’s a barrier,” Mindshare APAC CEO Amrita Randhawa said at the time. “And I think the only way you get around that barrier—given it is almost half the world’s consumers—is putting more people who can speak to the context of that market and that region and that culture into the jury.”
So how’s it going on that front? China and India, with their 2.5 billion consumers will not have a single jury president at Cannes this year. This, while frustration over Asia’s performance at Cannes continues to mount.
Can the Festival really afford to appear deaf to its critics?
We can only hope when the full list of juries is announced that we see the Cannes Lions make a reasonable attempt to have better global representation by those considering the merit of campaigns around the world, if it is to be the true global festival of creativity.
But this is not a good start.
Cannes Lions 2019 jury presidents
Note there are two new Lions; the Entertainment Lion for Sport and the Creative Strategy Lions. Meanwhile, the Product Design Lion has been retired.
The Communication Track
- Film Lions - Margaret Johnson, Chief Creative Officer, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, USA
- Radio & Audio Lions - Jose Miguel Sokoloff, Global President, MullenLowe Group Creative Council & Chief Creative Officer, MullenLowe Group UK, Global
- Outdoor Lions - John Patroulis, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, Grey, Global
- Print & Publishing Lions - Olivier Altmann, Co-Founder, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Altmann + Pacreau, France
- Design Lions - Richard Ting, Global Chief Experience Officer & US Chief Creative Officer, R/GA, Global
- Mobile Lions - Ari Weiss, Chief Creative Officer, DDB Worldwide, North America
- Titanium Lions - David Lubars, Chief Creative Officer Worldwide, Chairman North America, BBDO, Global
The Craft Track
- Industry Craft Lions - Trevor Robinson OBE, Founder & Executive Creative Director, Quiet Storm, UK
- Digital Craft Lions - Rei Inamoto, Founding Partner, Inamoto & Co, USA
- Film Craft Lions - Rebecca Skinner, Managing Director / Executive Producer, Superprime Films, USA
- The Entertainment Track
- Entertainment Lions - Scott Donaton, Global Chief Creative & Content Officer, Digitas, Global
- Entertainment Lions for Music - Paulette Long OBE, Music Consultant / Board Director, Paulette Long, UK
The Experience Track
- Brand Experience & Activation Lions - Jaime Mandelbaum, Chief Creative Officer, VMLY&R, Europe
- Creative eCommerce Lions - Daniel Bonner, Global Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman, Global
The Good Track
- Sustainable Development Goals Lions - David Droga, Founder and Creative Chairman, Droga5, Global
- Glass: The Lion for Change - Jaime Robinson, Chief Creative Officer, Joan Creative, Global
The Health Track
- Pharma Lions - Robin Shapiro, Global President, TBWA\WorldHealth, Global
- Health & Wellness Lions - Shaheed Peera, Executive Creative Director, Publicis LifeBrands, Publicis Resolute and Real Science, Global
The Impact Track .
- Creative Effectiveness Lions - John Seifert, Worldwide Chief Executive, Ogilvy, Global
The Innovation Track .
- Innovation Lions - Bill Yom, Global Creative Director, Cheil Worldwide, South Korea
The Reach Track .
- Creative Strategy Lions - Tracey Follows, Founder, Futuremade, Global
- Creative Data Lions - Yasuharu Sasaki, Head of Digital Creative and Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Inc., Japan
- Social & Influencer Lions - PJ Pereira, Co-founder & Creative Chairman, Pereira O'Dell,
PR Lions - Michelle Hutton, Managing Director, Global Clients, Edelman, Global
- Direct Lions - Nicky Bullard, Chairwoman & Chief Creative Officer, MRM McCann, UK
- Media Lions - Karen Blackett OBE, WPP UK Country Manager & MediaCom Chairwoman UK & Ireland, WPP, UK