Cannes 07

VIDEO: The Cannes Festival: A License to Print Money

An Interview With Ad Age Editor Jonah Bloom

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- As he prepared for his flight to the south of France to attend the 2007 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Ad Age editor Jonah Bloom discussed the business behind the incredibly profitable annual event. With up to 9,000 attendees paying as much as $3,000 each for tickets and ad agencies paying between $200 and $1,000 for each of their nearly 26,000 contest entry submissions, the festival takes in an estimated $30 million. The operation, now owned by Emap, a U.K.-based publishing and exhibitions group that bought the festival in 2004, is believed to be enjoying an astounding 60% profit margin.

Mr. Bloom also points out that for all of its financial success to date, the festival faces a serious risk of becoming irrelevant as its organizers continue to cling to qualification, judging and awards-ceremony policies that have long made the 30-second TV spot the star of the entire Gold Lion creativity awards program.

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