Cannes, France (CNN) - Cannes Lions used to be a festival for ad agencies, then the clients started coming and now the content owners are coming. James Murdoch, Jeffrey Katzenberg and our own Jeff Bewkes, who heads up Time Warner, are all here this week.
Martin Sorrell, boss of the multi-billion dollar WPP group of creative agencies, talks of a new triangle of agencies, clients and media/content owners. In effect a new structure to the creative sector.
For the Mad Men of international advertising and marketing there is no better event to see and be seen at than the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the south of France. It's wall to wall agency CEOs, account managers, clients and all the important creatives from around the globe.
There is no doubt that this is an industry in flux. With companies connecting directly with their customers over the web and the most popular online videos being made by somebody who forgot to turn their camcorder off, the people who hold the marketing purse strings are rightly questioning the impact of that big budget photo-shoot and international campaign.
But with change comes opportunity, and this year opportunities seem to be in abundance.
Cannes, France (CNN) – Robert Redford came to Cannes on Tuesday, for the Creative Festival, as opposed to the film one.
He addressed an audience of communications execs who were brought up watching his movies. Redford made his name depicting the Wild West but the West is now developed and his audience is far more interested in the wild East.
The head of one global agency referred to an "Anglo-Saxon mafia" in advertising, and accepted he was a member of it. The industry is largely based in London and New York, and that could be working against them in some markets.
In China, Western agencies are beating off the local competition, thanks largely to the prestige attached to anything Western, particularly luxury goods. But local agencies are getting stronger. It's much tougher in India, where local agencies are arguably winning with their expert local knowledge.
Cannes, France (CNN) – It sounds harsh but it’s a truth, at least for one industry. I would tell you the name of the industry but that’s where it gets tricky.
I am at the Cannes Lions Festival which used to be an advertising conference for agency head honchos. They would meet, swap ideas and party through the night. Now it’s a "Festival of Creativity" where head honchos from all sorts of different businesses meet, swap ideas and party through the night.
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