Through an initiative called “Advantage Ukraine” involving WPP shops in Ukraine, Poland, and the Czech Republic, business leaders will be encouraged to invest in Ukraine to support its recovery.
“We want the world to know that Ukraine is still open for business and has the potential to be a key cultural and digital technology European hub,” Tkachenko said.
The day after WPP’s announcement, HP launched an effort at the Cannes Lions CMO Accelerator to get participants to hire Ukrainian creatives for projects they can do remotely.
Jose Gorbea, global head of brands, agencies and sustainability innovation for HP Indigo—the company’s graphics and packaging business—gave a presentation on purpose in a class, led by former Procter & Gamble Co. chief marketer, now consultant, Jim Stengel. Gorbea gave participants boxes that included personalized messages and stories from one of 40 individual creatives who are refugees from Ukraine, complete with QR codes to facilitate contact. Two Ukrainian creatives joined Gorbea live at the event, tearfully recounting their stories, and then later joining the group for a harbor cruise.
Conversations were had about diversity and bias
Diversity and bias were other major conversations during the festival—one executive described this year’s festival as one of the most diverse Cannes they’ve ever attended. Group Black’s Inkwell Beach, in particular, featured diverse-focused panels all week. During IBM’s Monday panel, which featured executives from WPP, its Mindshare and Ogilvy agencies, Delta Air Lines and the Ad Council, panelists spoke about using artificial intelligence to eliminate bias in media planning, programmatic buying and creative optimization.
However, there were some points of contention as well.
“Brazil is racist as fuck,” said Cindy Gallop, never one to mince words, in explaining during a Cannes panel Friday afternoon why she’d supported a “Dear Simon” letter from P&C, a collective that last month released it to Simon Cook , the Cannes Lions CEO. The letter pointed out that only one of 24 jurors from Brazil was Black.
Gallop said she encountered the problem firsthand when she headed BBH and opened a Brazilian office.
“When the Brazilian advertising industry does not face up to own and solve its racism, it is failing to do the best creative work,” she said. “We have not even begun to see how amazing Brazilian creativity can be when the Brazilian advertising industry stops being racist as fuck.”
Gallop also said she still wants the Cannes Lions to do what she first suggested to Cook in 2019—move Inkwell Beach, the beach activation that highlights diversity, equity and inclusion, next to the Palais, so Black creatives there are more visible. “I’ve had to schlep all the way down the Croisette to Inkwell Beach,” she said.