Morning Update: Party with Thrillist (if you’re hot); ad-blockers cut mobile load times; Future Lions winners; Snapchat enters A.R.

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Ad Week: Gary Vaynerchuk Apologizes for Cannes Party Invite Seeking ‘Attractive Females Only’

CANNES, France—Cannes Lions 2016 has its first truly cringeworthy moment, in the form of a party invitation seeking “attractive females and models only.”

The email went out to a number of festival participants who planned to attend The Wednesday Party, an event sponsored by digital agency VaynerMedia and media company Thrillist Media Group with a musical performance by Wyclef Jean.

A female agency executive tells Adweek that she and two female colleagues received the email while having lunch in Cannes on Tuesday. One of them forwarded it to women’s advocate and agency veteran Cindy Gallop, who subsequently shared it on Twitter and wrote, “It’s 2016, @vaynermedia @thrillist. This is not how you party at @cannes_lions.”

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Ad Week: This Report Says Ad Blockers Cut Publishers’ Mobile Load Times in Half

There’s been plenty of hand-wringing in the media industry over the past year about mobile ad blocking and apps that wipe out all of the ads that pop up on websites. Consumers say they download such apps to avoid annoying ads that make it difficult to access content on publishers’ sites. Publishers are willing to experiment with those types of ads because they’re a revenue source.

Today, website performance company Catchpoint Systems is releasing a report that puts at least part of the ad-blocking debate in perspective: Publishers’ sites are loaded with heavy ads that slow down load times, and ad blockers do indeed improve load times significantly.

Ad Age: Student Projects for Ikea, Amazon and Lego Win Future Lions at Cannes

A food container for Ikea that warns when its contents are about to spoil, an AI voice interface for Amazon designed for seniors and an app that reads books to children via Facebook Messenger were among the winning student work of this year’s Future Lions awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

In the 10th year of the contest, created by AKQA in 2006, more than 1,900 students from 69 countries participated, making it the most entered and competitive year so far. Sweden’s Berghs School of Communication was named Future Lions School of the Year, having received more short-listed entries than any other school, for the third year in a row.

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Business Insider: Snapchat has taken a lead in one of the most disruptive areas of tech

Imagine driving directions showing up over the road in front of you, or assembly instructions floating above the IKEA furniture you are putting together. This is the promise of augmented reality, and Snapchat has already taken an early lead in the area.

Augmented reality is when graphics are projected into a physical scene, “augmenting” what is already there. Microsoft is developing goggles called Hololens, and Google is developing room scanning technology with its Project Tango, but both companies are currently in the development stage.

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Digiday: Cannes Questionnaire: Piers Morgan on ad blocking and the extinction of newspapers’s U.S. editor-at-large Piers Morgan is feeling particularly jubilant when we sit down for an early morning coffee on the publisher’s gargantuan yacht in Cannes. The reason: he’s just found out he’s made it to the top of some “weird crush” list.

Naturally, he doesn’t keep his eye glued on such things. “The only reason I even saw it is because [presenter] Susannah Read, tweeted it just now with the hashtag ‘insufferable’,” he laughs. The source of this delight — an article in Metro called “15 Men You Shouldn’t be Ashamed of Having a Guilty Crush on” — has Morgan at the top for his ability to be “Controversial, outspoken and famous for denting many a celebrity ego.”

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