Insight may shun Publicis Groupe’s directive on Cannes

The shock decision by Publicis Groupe, one of the world’s largest marketing agency networks, to skip next year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, may not affect Insight Publicis.

The Chief Executive Officer of Insight Publicis, Feyi Olubodun, in an interview with MARKETING EDGE hinted that the directive may not be binding on the Nigerian advertising outfit, though a Publicis agency.

Olubodun in response to a question about whether or not his agency will enter for the 2018 Cannes Lions said, “There is no yes or no answer. We’ll make the decision when the time comes.”

Insight Publicis, one of Nigeria’s oldest agency networks is partly owned by Publicis. The Paris-based behemoth that owns top ad firms like Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, took up 25 per cent stake in Insight last year as part of its Pan- African growth plan.

Publicis’s new CEO, Arthur Sadoun, made the decision during the 2017 Cannes Lions and said the money, about $20 milion, saved from the decision would be spent instead on artificial intelligence technology which would equip the agency better to solve problems for clients.

Despite Insight Publicic present stance, Olubodun agreed that the boycott was a necessary step by the global network towards addressing the lack of focus by organisers of Cannes Lions now attracting wide-spread condemnation from major advertising stakeholders.

Olubodun said, “It is a business decision. The question is, are they going to put their money into awards that will win acclaim but doesn’t solve problems for clients? That is the decision they are making. I must tell you that it’s a decision that all of us are considering because it makes absolute sense.”

Publicis is not the only agency that has expressed reservations about Cannes deviation from its core value, which is creativity. Other agencies including WPP are equally not happy. And WPP has said it would cut back on award entries and number of its delegation to next year’s event.

In response, Cannes Lions owner, Ascential, has set up an advisory committee to shape the future of the event by addressing some of the issues agitating the minds of advertising agencies.



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