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Writer: Noor Fathima Warsia - Monday, Jun 20,2011 9:22 AM
India@Cannes: At home, away from home...

Perhaps the best thing about Cannes Lions is the way people are at home after the first few hours of being in the sunny city. Already spotted is the Mudra gang, including Pratap Bose and Sandeep Vij. R K Swamy’s Srinivasan Swamy aka Sundar Swamy is here with his team too. Also seen on day one was Ogilvy India’s Ajay Gahlaut and the Leo Burnett creative team. BBDO’s creative duo Sandipan Bhattacharyya and Raj Deepak are also here.

More are expected on June 20, when the Festival takes off full steam, and more people would be inside or around the Palais des Festivals.

Even as Cannes Lions organisers are working hard in making awards only one part of the Festival, awards are still the most important, and hence most discussed aspect of the Festival. Where are the big boys in the shortlist tally, was a long conversation in the India camp on Day One. Some argued this as the rise of new forces in the industry, and others questioned the kind work that was at the Festival.

McCann Worldgroup’s Prasoon Joshi is already here too spending most of his time with the McCann Worldgroup global team in various meetings. Joshi, and perhaps the only other such example is Piyush Pandey, is amongst the few names from the Indian creative fraternity that the Cannes Lions organisers have worked closely with for growing India’s presence at the festival.

In an informal conversation with exchange4media, Joshi pondered upon the growth of the Festival and its relevance for India, cautioning at the same time that as an industry, India needed to take a stand on scam ads – either accept it as a part of the game and work with it, or just say this cannot be the way forward. Scams is a phenomenon for the global advertising industry and leaders like Joshi are urging the industry to closely look at the work from India that has truly made any difference to an advertiser, or has made an impact on the country.

Cannes conversations will continue. Expected on day two are Lodestar UM’s Shashi Sinha and Lintas Media Group’s Lynn de Souza, who is also speaking at the IPG’s Women’s Leadership Network sessions. The day is already looking at the first set of winners from the awards and some more shortlists.

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