At this, the 70th Cannes Lions, how much have we achieved when it comes to true inclusivity when it comes to media planning and buying?
The WFA (World Federation of Advertisers) recently had a D&I census which showed that, regrettably, we haven’t made huge progress in the makeup of our industry. But, the data does show that we’re at least trying. More than in any previous year there are more companies focused on D&I and that’s really important. The industry is starting to realise that D&I isn’t just something for the creative half of our business. It’s something for the channels we run and the media we buy too. Most marketers get that now. But, once you get it, it’s another step to delivering it authentically.
How do we demonstrate that, if you are truly diverse in your media buying, the outcomes are just better?
It’s still a difficult thing to show. Often, the amount of money that is being spent on diverse things is quite small. Some of the partnerships we do with companies in our space tend to be one-offs or test and learns. There’s a leap forward for this to be part of our everyday planning. It’s something we should be doing in all our media and all of our thinking. Some of those more bespoke partnerships make sense but there has to the step forward where this is just mainstream planning.
Do we do enough to show the business benefits of D&I?
The business benefits of any media are all measurable in the same way. If you spend enough money on it you can track it. Often, when you start on the journey, you won’t spend enough on it to track it but when you do, I’ve worked with other companies who all say that they see [impacts] when they do it. It’s not magic. It’s just better relevance, better targeting and better nuance.
NDA just launched media pride and Cannes is the bellweather for the industry. How far have we come in addressing those issues at agency, brands and publisher levels?
In many ways, the media and marketing industry is very inclusive to LGBT people. Personally, I’ve never had issues. But, there is still a glass ceiling when you talk about representation in senior leadership. Some years might be more challenging, culturally. There’s been some backlash around Pride this year and it will be interesting to see how companies stay with that support and have nuanced conversations around gender or trans issues. These will show in ways that really demonstrate they were being truly inclusive and not just sticking rainbows on things. There are a number of panels and parties at Cannes and while that’s fun, there’s also serious change in business to be done.
How important is Cannes as an industry event?
There are two sides to Cannes. The creative side is in the Palais and I haven’t seen much of that. But, on the media side, all our key partners are media owners that we want to speak to. So, speaking to the most senior people at our partners, Cannes is where we get the best chance to hear their story. For the media it’s still really critical, it’s a great place to do business.
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