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Cannes Today—WPP teams up with Ukraine, Greenpeace says #BanFossilAds, and the latest Lions haul
Zelenskyy asked, WPP answered
On Wednesday at Cannes, Ad Age’s Jack Neff reports, “WPP announced during a session in the Palais with Oleksandr Tkachenko, minister of culture and information policy of Ukraine, that it would join a partnership to attract investment into the country to help rebuild its economy.” The announcement comes just two days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise virtual appearance at Cannes in which he called on creatives to help his embattled country.
Through an initiative called “Advantage Ukraine” involving WPP shops in Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic, business leaders will be encouraged to invest in Ukraine to support its recovery.
The pitch: “We want the world to know that Ukraine is still open for business and has the potential to be a key cultural and digital technology European hub,” per Tkachenko.
Twitter x Shopify
“Twitter is making it easier for merchants to advertise their businesses on its platform,” Ad Age’s Asa Hiken reports. The possibly-maybe-about-to-be-owned-by-Elon-Musk social network took to Cannes to announce that “it has developed a sales channel app that will allow merchants to access and manage shopping features that will better showcase products to consumers and drive them to purchase. The app will be available to all U.S. Shopify merchants in Shopify’s app store.”
Bonus reveal: “Twitter also unveiled a campaign planner for advertisers to forecast, budget and draft campaigns before launching them on the platform,” per Hiken.
The Cannes winners circle
Today’s haul includes:
Greenpeace invades Cannes
French Greenpeace protestors dressed in dog costumes staged a beach invasion—a press-ready stunt, basically—at Cannes on Wednesday, Ad Age’s Alexandra Jardine reports. “If you’re wondering why the dogs, it comes from the ‘This is Fine’ meme of a cartoon dog with flames burning behind him,” she notes. Greenpeace takes issue with the ad industry’s dependence on fossil fuels (presumably including the countless gallons of jet fuel burned to bring Cannes attendees to the south of France) and its creation of ads for fossil fuel companies—thus the social media hashtag #BanFossilAds displayed on protest signage.
If you’re wondering exactly how the activists got to the beach, Greenpeace France’s press department made a point of showing (on Twitter) that they arrived via (human-powered) kayaks.
Related: Former Crispin Porter & Bogusky Europe exec Gustav Martner, a previous Cannes Lions winner and jury member—and now a Greenpeace activist—wrote a guest post for Euronews titled “Winning a Cannes Lions made me a climate criminal. So I crashed the stage to hand it back.”
Flashback: A group called Extinction Rebellion stormed Facebook Beach the last time the Cannes Lions festival was an in-person event—in June 2019. (Back then, the protesters were promptly arrested and hauled away by local police.)
Speaking of ‘This is Fine’...
Cannes headline of the day (that’s not from Ad Age): “NBCUniversal boss says business is booming, no signs of impending recession,” from the New York Post, referring to remarks NBCU CEO Jeff Shell made to CNBC’s Julia Boorstin during his first visit to the festival.
According to sources (us), Cannes’ hottest club is ... not actually a club. It’s a verdant expanse—the front lawn of Le Grand Hotel on the Croissette, where the Ad Age Cannes Lawn Party is happening tonight. Watch this space for photos from the invite-only (sorry) event.
“Cannes Lions is back in person, and here’s what to expect”—an Ad Age Custom Content post from Ashley Joseph and Ad Age Studio 30.
And finally ...
Breaking news from the French Riviera: Paris Hilton has a thought—literally just one thought—about Ad Age (via Ad Age on TikTok).