Tech

Cannes Lions advertising festival canceled due to coronavirus

Key Points
  • The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the ad industry’s major awards festival and conference held in France each summer, has been canceled due to the coronavirus. 
  • The festival was previously rescheduled to late October.
  • "It has become clear to us our customers’ priorities have shifted to the need to protect people, to serve consumers with essential items and to focus on preserving companies, society and economies," organizers said.
Delegates wait in line at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Cannes, France, June 2019
Cannes Lions

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the ad industry's major awards festival and conference held in France each summer, has been canceled due to the coronavirus.

The festival, originally scheduled for June 22 through June  26, was postponed in March to Oct. 26 through Oct 30, but organizers announced the decision early Friday morning to cancel it for good this year.

"As the impact from COVID-19 continues to be felt across the world on consumers and our customers across the marketing, creative and media industries, it has become clear to us our customers' priorities have shifted to the need to protect people, to serve consumers with essential items and to focus on preserving companies, society and economies," organizers said in a statement Friday. 

The next festival will take place June 21 through June 25 in 2021.

The announcement comes after major ad holding companies are warning about the impact of COVID-19 on their business. Holding companies like IPG and WPP have withdrawn 2020 guidance as the economic impact of the virus starts to hit client business. In recent days, major advertising groups were considering pulling out or had decided not to participate, Ad Age reported this week. Ad companies are also freezing travel and awards budgets. 

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