It’s that time of year again when we need to address the 800lb Lion in the room. 

For too long, this exclusive Euro event has become a playground for the advertising elite – with sales folks and c-suiters schmoozing each other and flitting to events mapped over the very craft ceremonies they flew around the world to celebrate. 

That being said, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been lucky enough to win a few shiny bits over the years. And don’t get me wrong, I really like awards, I like award shows – it’s good for our clients, it’s great for agency reputation and it’s awesome for attracting and retaining talent. And I fully believe there’s real value in coming together as an industry to appreciate the art and craft of what we do. I’m not here to yuck anyone’s yum and I sincerely wish everyone the best of luck in the south of France. . .


Cannes needs to evolve to represent a more inclusive, egalitarian future-proofed vision of our industry. One that welcomes diverse perspectives and has substantive conversations, about where we’re going as a business and not just industry self promotion and personal aggrandizement. The event’s focus needs to shift to recognizing that for advertising to succeed as a go forward business that it needs to take on an attention economy growth mindset not a brand maintenance model –  to survive we have to fuse creativity and data-driven strategy to drive measurable success for the brands that have been entrusted to us.

This must become a festival for everyone – for the unsung creatives in Culver City, for the aspiring teams in Bangkok, for every set of hands that has pioneered new tools sets, ways of working and at the same time poured their soul into a strategy, a media plan and an idea that drives results for clients. That’s what advertising should be about – not just rosé-fueled networking, but a working-class craft of persuasion, nudging consumer behavior through the powerful blend of creativity, technology, and human insights. 

Let’s reclaim Cannes as a true celebration of our craft – judged not by popularity contests and arbitrary metrics, but by clearly understood and articulated hard numbers with real-world impacts. A festival for all makers, storytellers, and innovators striving to create campaigns that resonate, persuade, and ultimately move the needle. It’s time to refocus on what truly matters: using our abilities to solve problems and produce quantifiable results for clients. Cannes should be a vibrant masterclass in merging art and science and a global get together where we honor the true prize: quantifiable results that move culture forward and the bottom line up.

Okay I’ll sit down now, put on a Francoise Hardy record (R.I.P.) and chug some rosé in my backyard.