Heather's Cannes Diary: rock stars everywhere


By Heather Jacobs, Campaign Brief

In the five years that I've come to Cannes I've become rather fond of the press room with its tiny little wonky tables. So imagine my disappointment when Sir Bob Geldof announced this morning that in the not so distant future there will be no more press room - no lights, no chairs, no people sitting there - and no more Cannes.

No more Cannes!!! This is because climate change means that it will disappear along with the forests of Africa and the Murray River in Australia. He had me so convinced the end is nigh that when he asked ME (well, the press) to do my bit to fight climate change I signed on the dotted line. View the presentation.

Kofi Annan, bless him, was a graceful and noble speaker and if together they can't rally the troops to action then we'll all just a virus to be wiped away like a bad dose of swine flu as Sir Bob suggested. We need more passionate people like them in the world and hopefully the advertising industry responds to the clarion call first sounded by Al Gore at the festival two years ago.

It was fabulous to see our very own David Jones holding court. Okay, he's British, but he headed Euro RSCG Sydney for a while and still has a fondness for Australia, so we can claim him as one of us. The ACT Responsible campaign is admirable and I'm glad he chose an Australian band to do the theme song with Midnight Oil's 'Beds are Burning'. Although I hear there are protests in the streets back in Western Sydney that the band rewrote the lyrics to suit the advertising campaign.

Another Australian advertising executive who turned up with a rock star entourage was Hamish McLennan, global CEO of Y&R Brands, who persuaded Roger Daltrey and Harvey Goldsmith - whom he's known since he was a kid - to come to Cannes. Daltrey delighted the crown by performing two songs on stage and looked like he would have sung all day if the organisers weren't keen to get him out to welcome the next seminar in. McLennan whisked them off to a small cocktail party Y&R was hosting at the Majestic where Daltrey found himself surrounded by pretty girls throwing themselves at him. It's a tough gig being a rock star. 

I ran into McLennan as we lined up to see his boss Sir Martin Sorrell deliver the Cannes debate. He left me the impression he actually has the Best Job in the World rather than the caretaker at Hamilton Island as he loves New York so much he doesn't seem to want to come home. Maybe Craig Davis should whisper in his ear about the lifestyle he's giving up by staying in New York.

Since I'm name dropping, Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide, was also in the queue, and declared Cannes 2009 'Australia's year' with awards across the board achieved by a wide range of agencies. He also sung the praises of young Michael Canning, the former BMF Sydney creative who has picked up Lions for 'TED Project 696' as well as 'Earth Hour' from his new gig at Leo Burnett Sydney. Rest easy folks as Tutssel is hopeful the Leo Burnett party will return next year.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the death of Michael Jackson. I'm a 70s kid so he's supplied the sound track to my life. Speculation is that he collapsed from exhaustion as he prepared for a gruelling round of concerts. May he R.I.P. Sir Bob started his speech with a tribute to Jackson. Like when Princess Diana died you'll always remember where you were when you heard the news. I was at a nightclub in Palm Beach and acting like a rock star myself by drinking Mojitos out of long straws from communal pots and boy did I pay for it yesterday.

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