Cannes Lions taps FleishmanHillard chief to lead pharma jury's two-for-one judging marathon

Flags flying outside Cannes Lions 2019
Anne de Schweinitz of FleishmanHillard heads up the pharma jury and Tom Richards of 21GRAMS presides over Health & Wellness at this year's Cannes Lions. (Beth Snyder Bulik)

The newly chosen Cannes Lions Health pharma and health and wellness jury chiefs will have their work cut out for them this summer. Thanks to the pandemic forcing the show's cancellation in 2020, judges will evaluate campaigns and hand out awards for both 2020 and 2021.

Heading up the pharma jury is Anne de Schweinitz, global managing director for healthcare at FleishmanHillard, while Tom Richards, global chief creative officer of 21GRAMS, will helm the health and wellness judging panel.

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This is de Schweinitz’s first time as a jury president, but not her first time judging the Health Lions She served on the pharma jury in 2016. She joins 15 other female jury presidents overall at Cannes Lions for 2021, making women the majority (57%) of lead judges, a first for the festival.

While the idea of travel after the pandemic is in itself a novel notion to the U.K.-based de Schweinitz, she’s most looking forward to seeing the work.

“I'm really curious to look at the types of campaigns and the types of strategies that were employed prior to COVID and now in this interesting world," said de Schweinitz, who leads a team of more than 300 people in FleishmanHillard healthcare communications.

"The whole healthcare delivery system, the way that pharmaceutical companies communicate with HCPs and with patients, has changed fairly radically given the circumstances," she added. "I think we'll see a lot of really interesting comparisons between work that was done one year to the next."

The festival is set to take place June 21-25 in Cannes, France, as per usual, but the event will be quite different from previous years.

While the organizers hope vaccine rollouts will help lift travel restrictions, it’s likely that in-person attendance will be far smaller than usual, with more people attending virtually. Of course, that also means the social atmosphere in Cannes will also be dampened—or as de Schweinitz said, “all that rosé wine less free-flowing.”

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Still, no matter how the show goes on, de Schweinitz thinks it’s important that the show does.

“This feels like a really interesting and important time to be in these jobs because of the creativity that it takes to come up with solutions in the middle of a very strange time," she said "I would just encourage people to think about the work they have been doing and make sure that we all get to see it come June.”