I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who made me and my fellow (whisper it) advertising and marketing LAWYERS feel welcome and embraced at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, yet again. 

It was the second year at Cannes Lions for me, and I always come away feeling inspired by the discussions, connections and events going on through the week. And, like everyone else, equally inspired and tired-out by the excellent parties and great things happening there.

It had such a great feeling about it this year. This time I was there representing the UK, with colleagues from the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA), representing the US (Jeff Greebmaum and Hannah Taylor, FKKS), Germany (Soren Peitzcker), Netherlands (Daniel Haije), Mexico (Jose Arochi) and Luxembourg (Virginie Libermann). 

It’s so important for us to be immersed in what’s going on in the industry, and where better than the epicentre of things for this very special annual gathering! 

It was a genuine pleasure spending time with old friends, getting to know great people even better, and making new friends - I know, I’m veering into cheesy cliches, but it really was!!

I’ll leave the ‘wrap ups’ to those who do it best - just check LinkedIn - but in broad terms the key themes continue to be:

  • AI - the opportunities and impact
  • Sustainability - the importance of focusing on sustainability (not least because the regulators in the UK and EU are going to have strong powers to keep companies ‘honest’)
  • DE&I

Also, I couldn’t help but notice more references to the pressures on mental health being experienced by so many across the industry and wider society. 

On a lighter note, my personal highlights in terms of the official events included:

🍀The GALA breakfast event to discuss the crucial intersections between sustainability and advertising. Always a joy to meet up with the GALA family 🫶🏻 and the many great people who attended

🏳️‍🌈The GenBTV - Generation Black TV & PrideTV event, with such a fantastic array of speakers on a range of D&I topics. Loved the line “NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US” (which I heard from Ndubuisi Uchea, Co-founder of Word on the Curb)

🌎 The International Advertising Association (IAA) UNITED NATIONS Dinner. Lovely to see so many familiar faces from the IAA, International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS) and others

🕯️Ahem… bumping into Gwyneth Paltrow on the Croisette… as you do in Cannes, daaaahling!

🕺🏼And, of course, on the purely social side, the Google/YouTube Pride Party on Thursday night - always a fantastic event and it definitely lived up to the hype!  

🥳 Fun was also had across a range of iconic venues and boats, from the swanky Carlton Hotel, to the incredible Colombe D’or, through to the less-than-swanky Gutter Bar. But much of that falls under the category of “What happens in Cannes, stays in Cannes!” so I’ll leave it there…

With so many talented people fighting various good fights, the industry seems to be in very good hands for many more years to come.


Special thanks to the whole GALA gang (including Stacy for organising), and to the perennially wonderful and welcoming Outvertising crew and extended friends of Outvertising.