Lion hunting? Is it justified?

June 19, 2008

This post ran earlier today on Adweek. But you, gentle reader, get the photo.

One of the prevailing topics in Cannes, surprisingly, is whether this festival is… justifiable. I struggle choosing that last word the way many here struggle with the pull and push of Cannes. I’ve overheard or participated in several conversations basically asking the question: “Why are we here?” (Funny, these ambivalent opinions are seldom brought up in the weeks before the festival. Methinks we all want our feet planted firmly on the Croissette before questioning why!)

Many (myself included) have a love/hate relationship with Cannes. We love the South of France. We enjoy seeing all our friends and peers in the business, as well as meeting new ones. And the quantity and quality of creativity from around the world is, indeed, inspiring.

But –and it’s a big hairy but- do we really need a week long party in Southern France? Is that justifiable? A member of the trade press told me he spent last night wining and dining with the same handful of people he sees every day at work. Put that way the festival does seem gratuitous.

But it is also a celebration of what makes our business so terrific in the first place: Creativity. Here, we cannot help be reminded of that. And it’s a reminder many in our business probably need. Which is why I am thrilled to be joined by more and more clients and members of our own management teams. Doing exceptional work is a big deal. And making it is one of the most rewarding “jobs” in the world. Cannes is living proof.

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