Cannes Day Four: An Ad-Tech Culling, a Gender Scandal and the Ad Age Party
I worked for a summer as a carpenter's assistant in Louisiana. One of the jobs we did was tearing up rotting, spider-infested floorboards in 90-degree heat and 95% humidity. But at least that was in the shade. One of the other jobs we did was putting up a tin roof in 90-degree heat and 95% humidity. That was, obviously, not in the shade.
So I will not complain about the "grind" of doing Cannes. Sure, it's exhausting, but in the same way that binge-watching "How to Get Away With Murder" is.
Yesterday was an Ad Age-centric day. It started off with a panel discussion about programmatic, which was sponsored by The Exchange Lab and held at a restaurant called Casa Mia. The panelists were Becky Brown, VP-global marketing and communications at Intel, Eric Litman, worldwide senior VP-mobile at GroupM, Ben Jankowski, group head of global media at MasterCard, and Chris Dobson, The Exchange Lab's CEO.
It was an interesting back-and-forth but the thing that made my ears perk up most were a couple of comments toward the end, during a discussion about the invasion of tech companies at Cannes (an ongoing obsession for many people this week).
Predicting what Cannes would look like by 2020, Mr. Dobson prophesied a culling of the herd. "A lot of the VC money that's buying all these boats will run out," he said.
Ms. Brown agreed noting that there hasn't been "enough consolidation" and that there are "too many people trying to create things we don't need."
Ad Age will have more on that particular thought later.
After filling up on programmatic, I was in the mood for some politics so went down to the Palais to check out a presentation called "Creativity on the Stump." For an American well versed (or, put another way, exhausted) with our presidential election, it held little that was new. But I wrote about it anyway and you can read about that here.
I also noticed that a presentation called "Star Trek Beyond: Retelling an Iconic Story for a New Generation" had been canceled due to the death of actor Anton Yelchin, who played Pavel Chekov in the new iteration of the franchise.
The evening had been set aside for Ad Age's celebration of its cover contest winners. But before that, I popped in for a quick drink with Steve Wolfe Pereira, chief marketing and communications officer for Neustar. Or the company currently called Neustar. The company announced this week that it will separate into two publicly traded companies, one consisting of the majority of Neustar's information services and the other providing order management and numberising services. The information services company will be led by current Neustar President-CEO Lisa Hook, who will have the same title at the new company; the other unit will be led by current Senior VP-CFO Paul Lalljie, who will become president-CEO of the new entity.
Then it was off to the party, with 1,200 or so of Ad Age's closest friends piling into the Grand Lawn to celebrate Nicholas Ross and Nicole Hamilton, the winners of our Young Creatives Cover Contest. The duo from Dallas-based Dieste was responsible for that great VR cover from the last print issue. For their ingenuity, Ad Age flew them to Cannes for the week and threw a party where they were saluted by Omnicom CEO John Wren, Dieste CEO Greg Knipp, The Trade Desk Senior VP-Global Marketing Anne Hallock and Ad Age Publisher Josh Golden.
As they say, a good time was had by all, even if it was a bit overwhelming -- for me as well as for the winners. At one point, I was literally approached by a representative of the United Nations. (More on that tomorrow.)
Other than talking wins and losses and whatever trends might be emerging from the weeklong festival, one of the hot topics was the social media tiff playing out between Cindy Gallop, Gary Vaynerchuk and the organizers of the Thrillist party. You can read about the resolution of that right here.
After the party, the Ad Age staff retired for what we call an Ad Age Family Dinner. I'd tell you all about that, but journalists are known hypocrites when it comes to putting things on the record. So: No comment.