Professionals laud Cannes Lions 2023 Jury for diversity & Inclusion

By Olawale Sanusi

Ahead of the 70th edition of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the largest global advertising event, professionals in advertising have expressed confidence in the recently announced Jury President who will assess creative works across different sectors of the industry as well as set the benchmark for global advertising excellence.The professionals lauded the diversity and inclusiveness of the Jury as the Middle East and North Africa, MENA region is being represented for the first time.Ali Rez of Impact BBDO who will serve as Cannes Lions’ first Jury President from the MENA region and will be leading the Print & Publishing Lions for the 70 edition of the event billed to hold between June 19 and 23 2023.

Commenting on the appointment, Rez said: “I am deeply honored to represent the Middle East as a Jury President for the first time in Cannes Lions’ 70 years history. This beautiful region which has been my home for the last decade continues to shine bright. It’s a privilege to be part of the UAE’s journey towards a very promising future with its love for creativity, ambition and belief that nothing is impossible.

“Of course, I couldn’t have made it this far without my team and the good fortune to work with leaders like Dani Richa and David Lubars. I hope this announcement paves the way for many others from the MENAP region to lead juries around the world.

“Thank you Simeon Cook, Phil Thomas and Lisa Berlin for the invite. I’m really looking forward to being surrounded by magical work this summer.

I am deeply honored to represent the Middle East as a Jury President for the first time in Cannes Lions’ 70 years history” he said.

Lisa Berlin, Global Jury Director at Cannes Lions, while commenting on the unveiling of the 2023 Jury Presidents’ list stated that it reflected the diverse wealth of knowledge across industry divides which will be effectively deployed at the global event billed to hold from 19th – 23rd June this year.

She said: “In 2023, Cannes Lions is 70 years in the making and we’re delighted to announce 29 Jury Presidents who will set the standard for the next 70.

These individuals represent the rich spread of exceptional talent from across the full spectrum of the creative industry. We thank them for the unique perspectives, expertise and for the leadership they will bring to the very important task ahead of them”.

Samira Garrido, Creative Director, while commending the demonstration of equality and inclusion by the global advertising awards, affirmed that it encourage more creativity as cultural limitations will be eliminated.

“When it comes to creativity, it’s important to talk about inclusion and diversity. What I appreciate the most about Jury composition at Cannes Lions, beyond the creative level are diverse and inclusive. A significant presence of women leaders in the advertising industry 15/19, an international Jury with representatives from around the world and across the industry, a cultural and ethnic diversity in the composition of the Juries to ensure that the award will be judged fairly by giving all entries the chance to be understood whatever their cultural background.

“These values make these awards the most respected creative accolades and a model of excellence for the entire advertising industry”.

Peter Ukhurebor, Managing Director Uniworld Group, expressed optimism that global advertising award will be witness increased efforts to encourage Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.

He said: “This year we will see loads of changes, it’s just the beginning. We need more representation for MENA and that will come”.

The Cannes Lions Jury Presidents play an essential role in upholding the integrity of the Lions as well as setting the creative benchmark for the global industry.

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