Cannes Lions to be ‘streamlined and focused’ in 2018 revamp

Following criticism from attendees, the Cannes Lions has undergone a revamp for 2018 to simplify the festival and reduce costs, organisers Ascential Events announced overnight.

The Lion’s future has been under a cloud this year following Publicis Groupe withdrawing from the 2018 event and WPP threatening to turn its back on the festival. The changes look to address the criticisms that the event has become too expensive and cumbersome for attendees.

The event will be shortened from eight days to five to be ‘streamlined and focused’ with 120 sub-categories being dropped and the general delegate ticket price falling €900 to €3249. The Cyber, Integrated and the Promo & Activation Lions will be replaced with three new categories.

Replacing the retired categories in the Festival which will run between June 18 and 22 next year, will be new Brand Experience, Creative e-commerce and Social Influencer Lions.

Each piece of work will also be limited to entering six categories, “this change makes really good sense because it will make it tougher to win a coveted Cannes Lion,” said Jose Papa, Managing Director of the Cannes Lions at the launch event in London overnight.

The award shows will be made available for free and some of the conference sessions will be made available online with sessions will be organised across nine core tracks to “help attendees navigate the festival more easily.’

As part of a reorganisation of the Young Lions, more than 650 passes will be given away to younger attendees.

“It’s vital that young creatives get to experience Cannes Lions and can take advantage of all the learning, inspiration and networking on offer,” said Papa. “This new Young Lions scheme will welcome a new generation of young creatives to the Festival.”

To keep with the festival’s priorities, fixed-price menus will be on offer exclusively for Festival badge holders at more than 50 restaurants around the city of Cannes. The local council will also make free Wi-Fi available on the Croisette and beaches with hotel prices and taxi fares capped during the week.

“We’ll be creating a festival that’s more accessible online to people than ever before,” said Phil Thomas, the CEO of the festival owners, Ascential Events.

“Some of the effects from these changes will be felt immediately, while others represent the start of a longer transitional journey,” concluded Thomas. “But what they all have in common is that they refocus the festival and ensure that Cannes Lions continues to be the leading global event for the world’s creative communications industries for many years to come.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.