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TUESDAY / JUNE 21 / 2016



on inequality in the workplace ahead of today’s session Gender Equality Is No Laughing Matter

IT FEELS as though you cannot surf a single one of your social media platforms or feeds without coming across a new article, study, or initiative targeted at gender balance in the workplace. So it’s easy to come into one of biggest industry conferences in the world and think, not another panel on diversity? I know this because I felt the same way when deciding how to best represent the gender gap issue here in Cannes. But ultimately, I got over it. Why? Because when it comes to diversity in business, silence is not golden. The more we speak, listen and debate the more attention these issues will receive and, hopefully, the more action all types of companies all around the world will take. Ogilvy & Mather and The Girls’ Lounge conversation on gender equality is set to move the debate on with an unflinching look at why

women are still hugely underrepresented at senior levels in the workplace. We just had a board meeting in London where EY presented a staggering statistic on this underrepresentation: ‘More men named John run big companies than all women combined’. Yes, we have a global CEO named John. And yes, he was mortified. Most business leaders, whatever their gender, have got comfortable and used to paying lip service to the notion of gender equality. Many of them want equality and diversity but seem relaxed in thinking that wanting it is enough. I feel personal pride in the fact that our John is not one of those leaders. There is still a pervasive culture

in industry that says the best person gets the job, and if it’s nearly always a man, then so be it. If we accept that flawed premise without examining our own prejudices, recruitment policies, office cultures and practices, then nothing will change. For many young women at the start of their careers, advertising feels like a modern, equal opportunities option — a great start for any woman. But we all know all too well that the advertising industry is as partial and blinkered as any other. For our conversation we have assembled some truly inspirational women to look at the issue head on. And we are getting impatient and talking is no longer enough; this session will hear and develop actions for change. What has gone so hopelessly wrong that women in the workplace are almost complicit in their own lack of advancement? Why are women at the top so often negatively scrutinised, mocked, disparaged and gossiped about? Why are we as a society so threatened by equality and diversity? The panel talks about the issues and their own experiences in a candid forum, but most importantly, the debate is a rallying cry to all industries. We must accept our shortcomings on gender equality and then, together, develop a blueprint for meaningful change. And who knows, maybe one day soon we will no longer need a Glass Lion.

What the cinema can do for brands ANDY England, CEO of leading US cinema advertising network National CineMedia (NCM), used to be chief marketing officer of MillerCoors before he took up his current


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role at the start of this year. In both posts, he has been a passionate advocate of Cannes Lions: “It showcases the very best in creativity,” he told the Lions Daily News. “It’s where

people come to be inspired.” NCM’s support for Cannes Lions is underlined by its decision to become the official representative of the event in the US. “This year is a learning curve, but we see this partnership as a way of further raising our profile among creatives, rather than the media buyers who we already know very well. And with our penetration across the US — 20,050 screens in 187 markets, 62% of screen attendance — I think we’re well-placed to connect the US creative community with Cannes Lions. It’s a definite win-win.” For NCM, attendance in


Cannes is a no-brainer, England said. “There’s no better place on earth to show off what the movie theatre can do for brands, to explain the impact you can have when you engage with audiences via a 50-foot screen.” Aside from its scale, cinema’s not-so-secret weapon is its appeal to millennials, he said. “They love cinema. In a fastchanging world, we have a very stable proposition — lots of millennials and lots of wond e r f u l c o n te n t c o m i n g through.” This isn’t to say that NCM is oblivious to changes in youth behaviour. “We see them in

our cinemas wit h t heir mobiles. So now we are exploring opportunities in the field of interactivity. And we are getting to grips with how we might communicate with the audience before and after the movie via mobile.” As a former brand guy, England brings a valuable perspective to the role of media company CEO: “Because of my last job, I’ve always been a student of media. And now I’m on the other side it helps me think about the basic questions. What is the client trying to achieve? New product launch? Reach? A specific message? It makes me think about how NCM can help the client — rather than simply selling the medium without context.”  

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Lions Daily News 2016 Issue 4 Tuesday June 21  
Lions Daily News 2016 Issue 4 Tuesday June 21