Who's ready to hop on a plane to France?
Organizers for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity are betting that the industry will soon be ready to flock to the Croisette to sip rosé on yachts, confirming it's planning to hold its event in-person this June. The announcement has caused some ad professionals to balk, citing COVID cases that continue to surge globally despite people starting to get vaccinated; a lockdown in the U.K.; and a new U.S. mandate requiring all incoming travelers to show a negative COVID test before they will be allowed entry into the country.
Organizers said in today's announcement that “the plan is to judge and present the work in person in Cannes, France,” per usual, during the third week of June. Cannes will also have an accompanying digital element for those who do not wish to attend in-person, as it has done since 2016. Organizers said juries will judge and award Lions for both 2020 and 2021 work due to the postponement of last year’s event, and said it is "now open for delegate registrations."
Lions Managing Director Simon Cook tells Ad Age that organizers will “constantly monitor the situation like last year” and “continue to talk to everyone about how the virus is affecting them” so they can make changes as needed. That could include limiting the capacity of the festival.
“We are talking on a daily basis with the city of Cannes, who we have a great relationship with, as well as our customers, on what pressures they might be facing,” Cook says. “We will continue to provide frequent updates to make sure we make the right call.”