Cannes After Dark

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The party circuit, so much of what makes Cannes truly festive, this year expanded with new hosts (Publicis Groupe, Crispin Porter & Bogusky) and venues (Pierre Cardin's villa) plus the usual sources of certain good times. Advertising Age's on-the-ground reporting and party team assesses the best and worst 2004 fetes.

Publicis Worldwide at Palais Bulles 5 stars

A trek requiring rides on two separate buses proved worth the effort on arrival at Palais Bulles, Pierre Cardin's utterly fantastic hillside/oceanside villa. Notables among the 1,000 guests included Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy and Worldwide Creative Director David Droga and the entire P&G delegation. By 3 a.m., people were swimming naked in the pool. Imaginative food and hip English band Zero 7 were followed by Elvis impersonations on the bus ride back to Cannes after Publicis rounded up stragglers at 4 a.m.

DDB Worldwide at the Martinez Beach 5 stars

Even though this event just started at press time, DDB's must-attend Friday night beach party is a guaranteed five stars, featuring the (self-proclaimed) "best DJ in Paris," and attracting over 1,000 guests and countless onlookers.

`USA Today' dinner in honor of the U.S. judges 4 stars

This Cannes classic reached a new high. Moulin des Mougins' new chef was a big hit and the U.S. judges arrived on time for once. Best of all, the USA Today dinner was fashionably overcrowded as the record U.S. delegation swelled attendance to 160 from 110 last year.

Crispin Porter & Bogusky at the Gutter Bar 4 stars

Was it the cheap plastic Swatch-like watches pre-set to Cannes time sent as invitations weeks in advance or simply the novelty of trying to organize a private party at a decadent bar renowned as the late-night drinking hole for the seriously inebriated? Whichever, it worked: The crowd still spilled over into the street at 2 a.m.

McDonald's at the Carlton beach 2 stars

This Wednesday beach bash by freshman Cannes-goer McDonald's failed to live up to the substantial buzz preceding it. This was a company affair dutifully attended by mostly white, sports-jacket clad middle-aged men. And there was no food!

Y&R's party at the Majestic Beach 1 star

A tastefully set-up beachfront affair, it simply didn't compete with the much- (and over-) hyped McDonald's bash a bit up the beach or party-circuit newcomer Crispin Porter & Bogusky's to-do at the Gutter Bar, both of which drew big crowds compared to Y&R's sparse gathering.

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