Two of the ad industry’s most iconic leaders spoke from the stage in Cannes this week.
According to The Guardian, Sir Martin Sorrell used his first public appearance since being forced to leave the advertising group WPP to criticise the board of his former company, dismiss suggestions that he paid for a sex worker on company expenses, and complain he was not treated fairly.
Is anyone surprised that a 73-year old powerful, rich, white man feels maligned?
In other much more interesting news from Cannes, Sir John Hegarty said, “I don’t think Sorrell will have a legacy. The people who have a legacy in this industry are the creative people, like Bill Bernbach and David Ogilvy. These are the names we remember. We remember Mary Wells and Dan Wieden.”
Hegarty called for more creative leaders to take the helm of agencies, rather than suits, to spur the changes needed in the industry. “We’ve got to be the only supposedly creative industry in the world where creative people aren’t on the top,” he said.
In utter refutation of this advice, Sorrell has already launched a new advertising firm called S4 Capital.
He described his new venture’s business model. “I’ve referred to it being a peanut. Although it does occur to me that some people have peanut allergies.”
Packaged Goods Company from Cincinnati Awarded for Creative Excellence
Aside from the two Sirs with widely divergent POVs, attendees were treated to world-class creative solutions.
Two P&G spots, “It’s a Tide Ad” from Saatchi & Saatchi New York and “The Talk” from BBDO New York, shared the top spot in the ad festival’s high-profile Film category. The Tide campaign also won a Titanium Lion, recognizing work that advances and expands the creative industry.
Even More News from Cannes…
Critics say Cannes is more about sipping Rose on a yacht than fostering creative business ideas.
Another often overlooked aspect to consider when evaluating Cannes is the lucrative business of award shows itself. The owners of the festival brought in $87 million in revenue last year, proving once again how a business that appeals to the vanity of advertising professionals is the real big idea.