Cannes Sale Reveals Obscene Profits
Roger Hatchuel's sale of the Cannes Ad Festival to EMAP Communications for $96 million has revealed just how much money Cannes has gouged from agencies for an event which has absolutely nothing to do with the resulting monetary success of an ad campaign for a client. The 2004 festival is expected to see a $12.8 million on revenue of $22 million. Many, including DDB Canada CEO Frank Palmer, are appalled at that level of profit.
Every agency wants to win awards at Cannes and will pay dearly to do so but has a study ever been done to correlate the number of awards an agency has won with its new business win ratio and bottom line profits? If so, I'd like to see it. And if it has ever been done or ever will be done, it will be looked upon with a grain of proverbial salt since we all now how "honest" those reported figures would be.
While there are award shows that are based on campaign performance, none have the notoriety or cache of Cannes. Is there any other industry out there that values things on how pretty they are versus how successful they are? OK, art and porn but you get the point. Will agencies continue you poor money down the Cannes drain next year? You bet! See you there.