Reflections on driving dynamic conversations at 2023 Cannes Lions Festival 

The Weber Shandwick Collective (TWSC) was proud to be a key presence on the ground at Cannes, from judging the works in competition to leading important conversations on everything from the importance of building an AI infrastructure to the power of earned media for the brand-consumer relationship.

TWSC sent representatives within three teams to compete in this year’s Young Lions for France, Sweden and the United States. Additionally, Lewis Williams, EVP, Head of Brand Impact represented TWSC on the Glass Lions jury and Valerie Pinto, CEO, Weber Shandwick India served on the PR Lions jury.


Together with PRovoke, TWSC hosted a roundtable discussion on the earned effect, debating how brands can build a following and earn consumer loyalty. Chief Brand Officer Joy Farber Kolo was joined by Bea Perez, Chief Communications Officer, Coca-Cola; Molly McKenna, Senior Director, Brand Communications, McDonald’s; and Kelly Mahoney, VP of Member Marketing, ULTA.


At the Axios Roundtable Brunch, Weber Shandwick Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and President, C-Suite Advisory Chris Deri joined a discussion of how to build a responsible AI framework to help stop the spread of misinformation.


TWSC: Women’s Health + Creative Salon hosted a conversation on Health Equity. The event brought together industry leaders, including Rachael Pay, Managing Director, Health EMEA & Health Integration Lead APAC, Laura Schoen, Chief Healthcare Officer for IPG DXTRA, Denise Vitola, VP Brand Integration PR, Social and Influencer at Bayer, and Ségolène de Marsac, Global Category Head Cough & Cold at Sanofi.


Weber Shandwick’s Global Chief Creative Officer Tom Beckman spoke on The Forum Stage for a “What I’ve Learnt” feature, alongside executives from Accenture and adam&eveDBB.


At IPG’s 11th annual Inclusion Breakfast, Gail Heimann, CEO Weber Shandwick spoke in conversation with Richard Dickson, President & COO, Mattel on the implications of equality and representation in the workplace, in society and in media, and the role advertising can play to accelerate progress. Heimann and Dickson also held a fireside chat on the topic of Inclusive Play and how Mattel is shaping the next generation through inclusive toy creation.


In a session led by PRovoke, Gen Kobayashi, Chief Strategy Officer, Weber Shandwick EMEA, spoke on earned media being at the heart of most award-winning and effective brand campaigns, whether the strategy and work is led by PR or creative agencies. The lively discussion covered how the blurring of lines between disciplines can enhance creativity, how PR agencies are evolving their creative offer, and how PR and creative agencies can best work together on campaigns for greater – and proven – brand value.


Weber Shandwick President Susan Howe spoke at the PRovoke CEO roundtable. She also presented at The Female Quotient’s discussion of how top women leaders should rethink networking to land promotions, get jobs and help others rise the ranks successfully.


Lewis Williams, EVP Client Experience, also spoke at The Female Quotient along with Cannes Class Jury President Tea Uglow and other jury members to discuss what campaigns made a mark on them prior to ever stepping into the jury room, the campaigns that got away – and what brands and agencies need to be thinking about when submitting entries in 2024 and beyond.