Dangerous ideas, Dame Helen Mirren, and news from elsewhere

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Good morning, delegates!

Pinterest Pier, Twitter Beach, Google Harbor… what was life like before brands?

Anyway, prepare yourself for another steamy one, with a high of 28°C (82°F). It might rain a bit in the afternoon, so prepare for that, too. Basically, be prepared.

What’s going on today

“The creative capacity for goodness.” Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, speaks in the Palais at noon about the role of empathy and compassion in bringing an end to his country’s 50-year civil war. “There’s no greater challenge or tougher brief,” as the organizers put it.

Grand finale at the Girls’ Lounge. Today is the last day to visit the (very comfortable) Girls’ Lounge at the Hotel Martinez. There’s quite a lineup of speakers, including Tina Brown, Sheryl Sandberg, and the group’s first all-male panel, which will feature high-powered honchos from Clear Channel Outdoor, Visa, Bustle, Twitter, and Oath. They will discuss—wait for it—the future of men.

Dangerous ideas. Many of the creatives at the festival consider themselves iconoclasts, but their work (probably) never landed them in a Russian prison. Watch the members of anti-establishment art-punk group Pussy Riot describe their creative process, to see what true disruption looks like.

Just-come-out-and-say-it session of the day: What the World Really Needs is More Advertising.”

Party planner. If you can handle it, Vice is throwing a party featuring Run the Jewels. It could get rowdy, considering that the hipster-focused outlet raised new funds earlier this week, at a heady $5.7 billion valuation.

What people are talking about

Dame Helen Mirren won the day. The queue to get in to see Mirren speak on Wednesday at the Palais snaked up the stairs and throughout the third floor. Inside, Mirren talked about starring in L’Oreal’s “All Worth It” campaign, aiming to boost the confidence of young people. The moderator said it was hard to believe Mirren would ever experience bouts of insecurity herself. “Well, I’m a good actress,” she replied.

Sir Martin Sorrell kicked the Cannes. The always outspoken boss of ad giant WPP, on the rooftop terrace of the Marriott, told the crowd that the festival “needs to tone it down.” His company sent 500 people to Cannes this year, down from 1,000 last year, and the CEO would prefer it if the festival was held in a big city like New York or London, where “access is easier.” He suggested “the jury is out” on WPP’s participation in the future, before skipping out on lunch to catch a boat for “Google Island.”

Tipping the balance. At the Girls’ Lounge, nine CMOs discussed how to use their positions to create more opportunities for women, and not just inside their own companies. HP CMO Antonio Lucio described pushing for change at business partners by working with Free the Bid, a pledge to give female agency directors the opportunity to bid on commercials. Oath CMO Allie Kline said AOL was well on its way to achieving its commitment of 50% women in the company’s top four levels by 2020—until its acquisition of Yahoo closed and “we went way down.”

These are the last awards Publicis will win for a while. Less than a month into his job as CEO of Publicis, Arthur Sadoun made a splash by announcing that the group will quit all awards shows next year, including Cannes. The savings this generates will go toward building an AI-powered professional assistant. Cue handwringing about how algorithms are replacing creativity. 

Speaking of awards… Lions Grand Prix were awarded to CJ Worx in Design for client AP Thailand, MRM//McCann in Entertainment for Santander, Johannes Leonardo in Music for Adidas, R/GA in Media for Jet.com, and Grey in Product Design for TigoUNE.

Seen and heard

Starting at the Palais and heading east, these are the tech and media sponsors of beachfront lounges, in emoji: 🔮 | 👩📗 | 📡 | 👉▶️ | 🌏🎵 | 🐦 | 📌 | ☁️🎶 | 📺🇩🇰. The first person to send us the correct translation will receive a fine collection of branded tote bags.

“Wack is wack… I’m all about the good, authentic s***.”—Rapper/producer/model/designer/actor/MTV Labs creative director A$AP Rocky.

“Assume every day is April 1st.”—Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News, on the advice he gives his kids about fake news.

“I’m here until Friday, so let’s hook up sometime. See you drunk, at nighttime!”—A delegate on the phone while walking down the Croisette with a spring in his step.

Away from the Palais

It’s hot and you deserve an ice cream. During the day, try Le Quirly, conveniently located roughly midway between the Palais and the Martinez on the Croisette. Recommended flavors: orange sanguine, banana, and, for something local, Tropézienne, which tastes like vanilla wafers. A good late-night spot is Glacier Vilfeu, on Rue Bivouac Napoléon, where the black cherry-studded forêt noire and pistachio macaron flavors are a treat, as are the outdoor tables facing the pretty church of Notre Dame de Bon Voyage. If you’re revving up for an after-party, Vilfeu is open until midnight and they even have a Red Bull flavor.

Chart interlude

The female filter. There’s something missing in many of the video ads that have won Cannes Lions over the past decade. In 2006, 34% of the characters in English-language winning or shortlisted entries were women; last year, the share was 37%. The Geena Davis Institute and J. Walter Thompson ran these numbers for more than 2,000 ads in the Film and Film Craft categories—the shortlist for these entries will be announced today.

Image for article titled Dangerous ideas, Dame Helen Mirren, and news from elsewhere

News from around the world

George Clooney sold his tequila business. London-based Diageo will pay $700 million for Casamigos, with a potential for $300 million more depending on future performance. The interest from Diageo—owner of Smirnoff, Guinness, and Johnnie Walker—coincides with rising tequila consumption in the US.

Nike will start selling some items on Amazon. Previously it refused to engage with the e-commerce giant, fearing it would “undermine its brand.” But with traffic at traditional outlets declining, Nike had little alternative. Shares of Foot Locker and other retailers fell on the news.

ISIL reportedly destroyed one of Iraq’s most iconic monuments. The centuries-old Al-Nuri Mosque, which dates to the 12th century, was where the extremist group declared a caliphate in 2014. ISIL claimed an American airstrike destroyed the mosque and minaret, but the Iraqi military placed the blame on ISIL’s own explosives.

Matters of debate

“Woke pop culture writing” isn’t enough. Let’s not confuse artistic critiques with political engagement.

Travis Kalanick could have learned a lot from Jean Liu. The president of China’s Didi Chuxing is known for her collaborative approach to competition.

Amazon is a monopoly in need of regulation. The Whole Foods acquisition puts it on a fast track to dominate yet another platform.

Surprising discoveries

North Korea has been Photoshopping Kim Jong-un’s ears. Forensic software reveals tweaks to make the dictator seem “a bit more handsome.”

Brits born in the 1980s would be twice as wealthy if born just five years earlier. The generational wealth gap has trickled into politics.

Orcas are the pirates of the Bering Strait. Gangs of up to 40 killer whales are shaking down Alaskan fishermen and stealing their catch.

Our best wishes for an inspiring day at the festival. Please send news, tips, disgruntled agency execs, and caffeinated ice cream to us at jason@qz.com and jenni@qz.com.