by César Vacchiano (@cvacchiano‏) CANNES, FRANCE: Everything is run by women in the New Miss America contest these days, delegates were told on Cannes Lions Day 5. Focus has shifted from the body to individual talent.

Before cable TV, Miss America was the second-most-watched show after the Super Bowl. The plan is to again become the show that brings Americans together as being the most-entertaining show on television. The challenge is to prepare women for a great world and to prepare the world for great women. Y&R is the agency trying to help the organisation to make it work.

The strange power of confidence

Even at Cannes, we may all lack of confidence. Throughout our lives, there are key moments where we need to make steps forward or backwards and the three key factors that we need to rely on to succeed are:

  1. Know what matters most to you
  2. Get educated
  3. Forget being ashamed and being too proud — lean on a friend

And confidence creates momentum, leadership and power. Confidence is what this world needs more of today.

Susan Somersille Johnson, SunTrust CMO, and Scott Goodson from strawberryfrog agency have created a campaign focusing on financial confidence. Actor David Oyelowo joined them to share that his confidence comes from self-awareness, selflessness and being self-taught. He recognised that, contrary to other actors, he loves to see his own films because he learns from watching them what he needs to do to improve.

Sir Martin Sorrell

He appeared on stage but we were all disappointed for 30 minutes. He interviewed writer Ken Auletta (“Frenemies”) during that time and it wasn’t half an hour later that Auletta managed to start posing questions to him.

Auletta shared that the biggest problem with (US) media today is that they focus to much on Donald Trump. He doesn’t think Trump will be re-elected, whereas Sorrell thinks he will be. It might be easy to get 25% of Americans to vote for him again because more than 50% of Americans doesn’t bother to vote.

When it came to Auletta’s questions, Sorrell started saying that he thinks holding companies will survive. He recognised that Havas is the biggest of the traditional six holding companies because of Vivendi but added that Accenture is truly the biggest corporation within our industry, even larger than the other six holding companies combined.

It is inevitable that there will be more consolidation within the industry.

He realised he made a mistake using the word “horizontality” in the context of what’s been happening today not only in WPP but also in the other holding groups. All of them are trying to combine their best talent to best serve their clients. He said he knows clients well and that everyone wants multiple definitions of agencies. We live in a new era that’s very different. All of the holding companies know that their biggest challenge is to know how to integrate their offering in a more efficient way.

The two of them both feel there’ll be more legal restrictions for Google and Facebook shortly, especially in Europe.

Auletta did manage to ask about the recently published articles in Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. First, regarding being verbally abusive with people (ie his driver), Sorrell accepted he’s not an easy person to deal with and that he’s highly demanding. He explained that maybe the press asked “the wrong 25 people” within WPP for their input on the article, because he has had lots of emails supporting and thanking him within WPP, and that maybe what he should do is publish those emails to show the other side.

As to the question regarding using amounts of petty cash for personal expenses, he denied this. He repeatedly said that the accusations from FT and WSJ are false. He then explained again, as he did in his farewell letter to his employees, that he left because the situation was untenable and that he had to leave for the benefit of the organisation. Relationships had been coming under a lot of pressure.

Auletta said that, for him, the conclusion is that Sorrell is angry about the situation, along with the general environment in the industry, which is very difficult. Sorrell admitted he would like to investigate the leaks, as well as saying that he might be “a peanut for some people” but other people have “peanut allergies”.

Auletta had asked Sorrell a long time ago if he would leave WPP someday and he responded, “They will need to shoot me if they want me to get out of here.” S,o the question is: was he shot?


Notable wins of Friday evening were:


  • Today@apple
  • It’s a Tide Ad Campaign, Saatchi & Saatchi for P&G
  • Dundee: The Son of a Legend returns home, Droga5 NY for Tourism Australia
  • Palau Pledge, Havas (Grand Prix)

Grand Prix for Good

  • Project Rejoice, BWM Dentsu Sidney for ALS Association

Lion St. Mark

  • Piyush Pandey & Prasoon Pandey
    • Piyush won the first Lion for an anti-smoking campaign in 2002. Prasoon won his first Lion in 1996. They both are seen as the Godfathers of Advertising in India. All the people in the Palais stood up, admiring their work and were touched by their words.

Glass Lion for Change

  • The Worst Soap Opera, Pagés BBDO for UNICEF
    • 37% women in Santo Domingo get married before turning 18 years old and 12% before turning 15! This Chapter 10 telenovela made the Dominican Congress change the Law.
  • Bloodnormal, AMVBBDO for Libresse/Bodyform (Grand Prix)

Sustainable Development Goals (900 entries in this new category)

  • The Trash Isles, AMVBBDO for Plastic Oceans
  • Black Supermarket, Marcel Paris for Carrefour


  • Gene Project 90, adam&eveDDB for Marmite, Unilever
  • The Secret, Ogilvy Bangkok for Nissin
  • Clowns, BBH London for Audi
  • Endless Stories, AlmapBBDO for Getty Images
  • The Talk, BBDO NY for P&G (Grand Prix)

Independent Agency of the Year

  • 1st — Jung von Matt, Hamburg
  • 2nd — Droga5, NY
  • 3rd — Wieden+Kennedy, Portland

Cannes Lion Heart Award

  • Paul Polman, Unilever

Holding Company of the Year

  • 1st — Omnicom
  • 2nd — WPP
  • 3rd — Interpublic

Johanna McDowell also contributed to this report.


César VacchianoCésar Vacchiano (@cvacchiano‏) is president and CEO of SCOPEN, an independent research company headquartered in Spain. Trained in economics and business with postgraduate degrees in American universities, he is an international speaker and contributor to various publications, specialist in image studies and positioning agencies, advertisers and media. César has been at SCOPEN since 1993 and today is the company’s top executive worldwide.

“Motive” is a by-invitation-only column on Contributors are picked by the editors but generally don’t form part of our regular columnist lineup, unless the topic is off-column.

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