Five Good Reasons To Stay Close To ICCO During Cannes Lions by David Gallagher

Guest blog post by David Gallagher, ICCO President & CEO EMEA, Ketchum

In my experience, PR people respond to the Cannes Lions Festival in one of three ways:

  • The doubters:  ‘Not for me. It’s really an advertising festival and not where serious PR should be.’
  • The curious:  ‘It sounds interesting, but I’d need to know more before investing that kind of money.’
  • The true believers: ‘Cannes is where the action is, and love it or hate it, we need to be in the thick of things.’

As a delegate from the devout faction, I’m pretty sure nothing comes close to matching the Festival as a source for inspiration, insight and foreshadowing for our increasingly integrated and global business. But in the past I’ve looked at Cannes Lions as both doubter and curious voyeur, so I’m pleased to see ICCO throwing back the curtains on the festival with useful information and perspectives for the Festival first-timers, grizzled veterans and even the stay-at-home critics.

Wherever your opinion sits, here are five good reasons to stay close to ICCO during the Festival through our onsite booth, this website and social media:

  1. Strength in numbers.  Even Cannes old-timers can find the sheer crowds at the Festival overwhelming, and it’s always nice to see a familiar face.  Use the ICCO booth 12.01 in the Palais as a rallying point for networking and meetings, and for the latest on PR-related news and information.
  2. All the news that’s fit to share.  We’ll be collating and sharing perspectives on what’s hot – trends, learnings and analysis – from a range of sources, including our four main agency supporters:  GolinHarris, H+K Strategies, Ogilvy and Ketchum (go team).
  3. It’s a festival in the South of France, after all. We’ll be socialising in advance of the PR Awards celebration on Monday night, toasting what should be a great showing for the whole industry. If you haven’t yet RSVP’d, there’s still time.
  4. Meet the Young Lions.  For the first time, teams of two under-28s from up to 20 countries will vie to win the golden Young PR Lions accolade at an on-site competition. We’ll toast their success and wish them well in this glimpse of the future of our business.
  5. There’s a world outside PR, you know.  One of the great opportunities of Cannes Lions is to see creativity expressed through work of those trained in other disciplines  We’ll encourage participants to share what they liked (or didn’t) throughout the festival with the hashtags #ICCOCannes for general observations and #WeLovePR for professing your industry support.

See you on the Croisette!



As a Senior Partner and CEO of Ketchum’s European operations and chairman of the UK agency, David Gallagher brings more than 20 years of public relations experience, both as a client and as a senior agency adviser, to some of the world’s leading brands and companies.

David Gallagher oversees Ketchum’s nine European agencies and their specialist services, which include consumer public relations, healthcare communications, corporate affairs and social responsibility, public affairs, change management, and clinical trial recruitment.

He is president of the International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO), the global umbrella network of 30 national PR agency trade associations, and a fellow and past chairman of the UK Public Relations Consultants Association.  He chairs the World Economic Forum’s global agenda council on the future of media, and was the 2014 PR jury president for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.