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Martin Sorrell, four clients & the Great Cannes Debate

27-June-2009
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Martin Sorrell, four clients & the Great Cannes Debate

The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is finally drawing to a close. The second last day of the festival saw some high-powered panels take on subjects with key concerns to the industry. One such session was the Cannes Debate, which like last year, was once again hosted by WPP’s CEO Sir Martin Sorrell.

Even as it is unusual to see Sorrell in the questioning chair, Sir Martin had a list of subjects that he posed to the panel. The panel comprised Mary Beth West, EVP & CMO, Kraft Foods; Marc Pritchard, Global Marketing Officer, P&G; Mary Dillon, EVP and Global CMO, McDonald’s Corporation and Brian Perkins, EVP, Corporate Communication, J&J.

The digital conversation kicked off this discussion and two of the marketers J&J and Kraft informed that at present their online spends were in double digits. Mary Dillon and Pritchard on the other hand stated that the spends varied country by country, and on an average was at 7 per cent.

Pritchard added here that their approach was about impact and creativity, sending message to consumers on how brands are valuable – and not just price driven.

Research and analytics were touted as being crucial – creativity needs to be borne from data. There’s a lot of knowledge and too little insight. It’s the data that translates insight into the big ideas. Mary Beth West from Kraft said it’s important to serve up the data in an elegant way to make sense of it.

Another important point of discussion in the panel was if there was any grouse that marketers had with their agencies. Mary Beth West said here that the personal relation, which brands otherwise try and develop with their consumers was missing between clients and agencies. Perkins said here that agencies got what they deserved. A relation, good or bad, between a client and an agency equally depended on both.

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