It may be known for its cut throat competition, but where it really matters, the advertising industry can show solidarity. At Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, for the first time ever, the top chiefs of the six holding companies came together to make the world a better place.
Yannick Bolloré, Chairman & CEO of Havas; Michael Roth Chairman & CEO of IPG; Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder & CEO of WPP; John Wren, President & CEO of Omnicom and Maurice Lévy, Chairman & CEO of the Publicis Groupe took the stage together, along with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss how agencies can work towards specific causes ailing the world.
Ban Ki-moon called on the advertising and creative communication professionals to create “the biggest-ever campaign for humanity” by supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “I understand that this is the biggest gathering of Mad Men; I am sorry but I have been told that that is some kind of a compliment. I have come here today for your help, and here is my pitch.”
“I know all of you have tremendous power to shape opinions. You are master storytellers. And I want you to help us create the biggest campaign ever for humanity. In the short term, we want the 2030 Agenda to be known by two billion people. We want to mobilize one million people as change agents. Help us reach far and wide,” he said.
He pointed out that the world needed sustainability development and that none of its goals could be achieved by any one person or country. “We need all hands on deck — the community, the civil society, the academia, the private sector and the advertising industry. CSR is important but we need to go further to touch every aspect of life,” he added.
Mr. Ban asked the participants to help make sure the SDGs are the business of all businesses – and the business of all people, inspire all, especially young people and women, and find the best ways to tell the story. “I invite all to be part of something bigger, and help us transform this world with your innovation and creativity that is second to none,” Mr Ki-moon said.
The leaders spoke on the causes they will take up. Havas took on climate change, WPP gender equality, Publicis Groupe food, Dentsu will help in health issues, IPG on water and sanitization and Omnicom on education.
The leaders spoke of shared efforts and a collective vision that was above everything else, and where the advertising professionals can make a difference.