Expert advocates more black representation at Cannes

By Oghale Mafuru

Peter Ukhurebor, Founder of Black at Cannes, a Neo-African organization, has lent his voice to the call for equity and inclusion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. He urged local agencies to make deliberate efforts to spotlight their works and improve participation at the annual awards as it is crucial to the growth of the African continent.

Speaking to MARKETING EDGE, the advertising expert who posited that the global award offers immense opportunities for brands and agencies to build equity, knowledge, and profitable partnerships, advised creative agencies to be more strategic and intentional for effective representation.

“There have not been partnerships from local agencies and Cannes to foster representations with the notion of bringing their work to the big stage and encouraging their teams to request to be part of the event.”

He said that the awareness and push for representation by agencies and brands alike needs to e widespread among African agencies.” Cannes is over 50 years old and creative space for brands and agencies. These agencies reach out directly to Cannes to be part of the festival” he said.

According to him, African creative works can get well-deserved accolades and recognitions when successful regional brands are encouraged to participate in the world’s most prestigious advertising award and festival of creative minds.

In his words: “African creatives should endeavour to push our regional brands to show up on the global stage. We have banks like Access Bank from Nigeria which is now global, Nando from South Africa which is in 20 countries globally. We need to show up on the world stage.

“We created the notion of AFRICA to the WORLD. We need to live up to this expectation and show up on the big stage like the Coke Cola’s, Google, and P&G to show African creativity to the world” he added.

Commenting on how cultural differences inhibit deep understanding of creative works, Peter Ukhurebor stated that improved representation on the Jury is fundamental to the realisation of inclusivity and equity, especially for the blacks at Cannes.

“Lack of representation leads to lack of cultural understanding. Cannes needs more diverse talent and they need those who are either up to the criteria or are willing to learn via the Young Lions program. This will bridge the gap of lack of diversity and understanding of the creative works that come from Africa. With the right representation will come growth.

“We started this initiative this year but suggested over 25 Black Creatives from across Africa and the Americas thus taking the representation from 30% to 47% for Jurors of colour at Cannes this year. We need to do more come 2023” he stated.

He noted that Black at Cannes is an organisation committed to the vision of equitable representation of the African creative industry on the global stage. It is working relentlessly to achieve massive participation of Africans ahead of the 2023 edition of the Cannes Festival of Creativity.



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