Cannes Lions has canceled its 2020 Festival of Creativity and Awards altogether. The event will not take place in October as previously planned but will run June 21-25, 2021.
The decision, announced early today, comes after speculation about the future of the festival this year, after holding companies including WPP and Omnicom decided to pull out for this year. Wieden+Kennedy, one of the most creative shops in the industry, also planned not to go, Ad Age reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Cannes said that the “difficult decision” came after consultation with its “partners and customers” and that it reflected the “unprecedented societal, health and economic challenges currently facing the world, as well as our desire to remove any uncertainty about the running of the awards and event for our partners and customers.”
Philip Thomas, Chairman of Cannes Lions, added in a statement: “Cannes Lions at its core has always been about creativity and the Lions. We realize that the creative community has other challenges to face and simply isn’t in a position to put forward the work that will set the benchmark. The marketing and creative industries, in common with so many others, are currently in turmoil, and it’s clear that we can play our small part by removing all speculation about the Festival this year. We have tried to make our decisions as early as possible to give the industry total clarity on the situation, and that is why we are announcing this move today.”