Cannes Lions' Jose Papa on consultancies, the CMO council and his year without Publicis

Jose Papa, the managing director of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, sits down with The Drum to discuss how he’s coping with being “at the eye of the hurricane” ahead of the event’s overhaul next month.

Papa promises that this year’s festival will be streamlined to refocus on creativity “in a more purposeful way”. The Cannes team launched a raft of new initiatives and a revamped awards list at the tail end of last year following consultation with attendees.

When asked whether he expects consultancies and tech firms to mitigate the loss of Publicis’ participation, Papa said: “We are expecting engagement of whole new systems within the industry – it’s not just consultancies ... and it shouldn't be a discussion on who will substitute because I think that clients are absolutely intertwined with respective agencies.

“This client-agency relationship has never been so important ... I think it’s going to be much more symbiotic. It’s not going to be consultancies substituting agencies but it’s going to be how this new framework of relationships intersect more effectively and how by making these intersections more purposeful you drive the whole system forward.”

Watch the video above to learn more about Papa’s vision of this year’s Cannes and beyond.

If you're heading to Cannes Lions Festival this year, we invite you to join The Drum & selected partners on board the FCB Boat or in our very own pub, The Drum Arms, for panels and pints. Register now.

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