The company said it was studying a series of scenarios to plan next year’s festival

Plans for Cannes Lions Festival 2021 Constantly Changing
16 de marzo de 2021

In January the Cannes Lions organizers said that its annual Festival of Creativity will return to an in-person format this June after having been canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Later, however, they announced their choice of a hybrid format: virtual and in-person at Cannes “if at all possible.” Now the announcement has been confirmed in the 2020 financial report by Ascential, the company that runs the event, that the awards part of the festival, which will evaluate the entries for both 2020 and 2021, will now be “completely digital.”

According to the financial report, Ascential’s cash flow from its continuing operations suffered a great blow last year, falling more than 70 percent to 25.7 million pounds sterling (some $35.6 million). Total income dropped 31 percent.

Income of the company’s marketing division, which included Cannes Lions, the WARC research unit and the media/marketing consultancy MediaLink, dropped some 60 percent to 54.3 million pounds sterling (about $75.4 million).

The firm’s other major event, Money 20/20, was also canceled. Many of the fees collected for last year’s Cannes Lions Festival were retained and are being applied to the fees of this year’s participants in the event. But the company did issue refunds for Money 20/20.

The company said it was studying a series of scenarios to plan next year’s festival. The worst of cases would include a slower recovery than expected and the launch of vaccines that result in “the cancellation of all events in 2021” so that “its normal list of events could not be renewed until 2022.”

Ascential reported that WARC registered a “strong income growth” backed by solid subscription renewals and by the first complete year of a new offer of consultancy.

CEO Duncan Painter commented that 2020 “underlined the importance of our strategic focus: serving brands that operate in digital marketplaces. We were already operating in a highly digital world, and the fundamental shift towards online channels has only accelerated since the pandemic. This further drives demand for our data-driven insights in the three ways we support customers: creating the right products, maximizing their marketing impact, and optimizing their trading performance on ecommerce platforms.”