The march to Cannes Lions Health has begun. Last week, the advertising creativity festival announced the two jury presidents who will preside over the panels that judge the pharma and health & wellness categories.
Rich Levy, chief creative officer of FCB Health will lead the pharma team, while R. John Fidelino, executive creative director at InterbrandHealth, will run the health & wellness judging. Both men have served as judges in each category during previous years.
Slated for June 18-19, the Cannes Lions Health program will run concurrently with the broader Cannes Lions creative festival, which has been streamlined to five days. Facing pressure from large agency networks about the event's hefty cost and increasingly broad, diffuse programming, Cannes organizers pared back the festival schedule, award categories and number of days. They also held entry fee and ticket prices to 2017 levels.
Before the changes were made, Publicis had already said it would not attend Cannes—or other big shows like South by Southwest and the Consumer Electronics Show—for 2018, and WPP CEO Martin Sorrell had expressed second thoughts about his agencies attending the South of France festival. Since then, WPP has reconfirmed it will attend and Publicis has said it will return in 2019. The Cannes organizers also struck deals with local businesses to offer perks such as fixed price meals at many restaurants, capped taxi fares and extended free Wi-Fi.
Last year, pharma winners of the Cannes creative awards included Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck & Co. This year will be the fifth for the Lions Health show and awards. While the Health program will still run during the first two days and in a separate building, this is the first year it will run alongside the broader advertising fest set for June 18-22.