DESTINATION CANNES

As Great Britain reels underneath the low pressure rain lashed reality of austerity, and Sir Martin contemplates the year a head with a back pocket a couple of million lighter the global ad industry is decamping to Cannes (if you’re American;Khan )- in Cannes to celebrate the Cannes Lions – the zenith of Creative recognition be it Digital, Posters, Mags or Telly or any combination of the former.

The event is a triumph, and long may it reign.

Not long ago it consisted of just two nights press and TV, now it spans the whole week including horror upon horrors the media boys and girls arriving earlier in the week, luckily for the stylish Creatives who arrive Thursday onwards (Saturday morning if they’ve won a Lion) the Media folk will be long gone by the time the Creatives tip up.

It’s rocking with delegates,delegates from all over the world.All parachuting into one of the most expensive cities in the world – Sole more expensive than Scott’s a pretty good indicator, but more of that later.

If you’ve never been to Cannes it’s hard to describe the atmosphere, it’s a kind of Green Zone of Advertising with only a few outposts defending the Northern and Eastern flanks – Agency Villas to the North and La Columb D’Or and the Eden Roc to the East. There is no defense to the West apart from the brave Campaign team who are normally billeted here living under appalling conditions rumoured to be worse than Hammersmith. Thankfully they are entertained within an inch of their lives so rations are not a problem – just the pay.

Oh, the bay is secured by regular patrols by the pirate ship the “CHI”

Once in side the Green Zone you’re basically stuck, due to the fact that it’s almost impossible to get a taxi out, two reasons 1. There are only three in Cannes and 2. The others sit at Nice Airport on permanent watch to ensure that no public transport ever encroaches upon their lucrative trade.For Cannes virgins the taxis are of the higher gleaming Mercedes Marque without a mark on them – driven by very well dressed gentlemen whilst listening to French “pup” music.HQ is definitely the Carlton Terrace.

Whilst France sits inside the Euro a different pricing structure operates here the price of goods and services follows an opposite and diametric line vs the strength of the pound, so FDs thinking “good news the pound is stronger against the Euro this year need to add a couple of noughts to the entertainment line.There is also the yearly question of how can a bowl of fish soup with a couple of fish heads in it cost €50 at Tetou ?

That’s not to say it’s not worth it Rose always tastes better on the Carlton Terrace than any where in London and just perhaps Domaine O’tt taste that little bit better for not being slugged down.

There is a subtle change taking place to the make up of the Festival,the new economies are slowly taking over Google, Microsoft Facebook and Twitter – snag with all of these is that despite their awesome power there is little to physically show or excite – the big night remains the TV night. Having said that Twitter will probably play an important role in connecting the conference and sorting out where to watch the football.

If you want ito escape take the train down to Juan Les Pins and book a lunch time table at Le Provençal it’s right on the water and 25% of Cannes prices – stunning.

So as the Agency suits peel away the suits to reveal their casual wear of Boden and Lauren, sundresses and shades and the media boys un tuck their shirts from their trousers spare a thought for the target markets sat at home in conditions as far away from Cannes that’s possible.

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