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By Stephen Lepitak, -

June 29, 2015 | 2 min read

Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, has called upon his five largest competitors to join him in "linking arms" at the Cannes Lions festival in 2016 as a symbol of their united stance against climate change.

Speaking to The Drum, Sorrell directly invited the chief executives of Publicis Groupe, Omnicom, Dentsu, Havas and InterPublic Group.

The idea formed on stage while Sir Martin debated with former American Vice President, Al Gore and discussed the Ask Why Not? campaign which saw competitive companies join forces on a single issue. During that, he promised to invite his competitors to come together the following year alongside Gore to discuss climate change.

"On one thing we are all agreed and that is the importance of climate change and the need to progress this as rapidly as possible," said Sorrell.

He personally called on John Wren, Maurice Levy, Michael Roth, Yannick Bollore and Tadashi Ishi to meet with him at the Lions Festival the following year at midday on the Friday of Cannes to continue the debate.

"Hopefully this will stimulate other companies that are competitive one another, clients and media owners, both old and new, to come together on the climate change issue," he explained.

At the time of writing none of the invited chief executives were known to have yet accepted the offer.

Climate Change Publicis Groupe Cannes Lions

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