Business cards at the ready; it's the annual advertising industry shindig that is the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, starting this Saturday. Around 15,000 marketing and media executives will mix with well-known faces including Dame Helen Mirren, Christine Lagarde, A$AP Rocky and even the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
So why should businesses outside ad land – which could be accused of being a little inward-looking - care about what goes on in the south of France? Guests and speakers say they go to get deals done – eMarketer forecasts businesses will spend $584 billion on advertising in 2017 - and to learn how to solve business problems creatively, while others go because they're up for a prestigious Lion award.
The 2017 event is likely to be a slightly more sober affair than usual: News website Mail Online has decided not to hire a huge yacht this year – in 2016 pop band Take That entertained delegates, and previous guests have included various Kardashians - while two of the world's largest advertisers appearing at the festival are streamlining the number of agencies they use. Unilever and Procter and Gamble are looking for better deals and more transparency over where their ad money is going, and both will discuss diversity, a growing topic at Cannes.