Ford, Unilever and NewsCorp - Insights from clients at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Joseph Clift

While the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is generally seen by marketing people as an annual gathering of the world's ad agencies, the client side was also heavily represented at this year's event. "As a client, this festival was always a secret thing," Ford vice-president Jim Farley pointed out in his presentation. "The creatives would go to Cannes and we'd know nothing about it."

Not any more, it seems. On the sidelines, festival veterans observed that the advertiser presence had never been as large as it was in 2011.

Ford - giving up and letting go

The client-agency relationship was top of mind for Farley, who kicked off Friday's seminars at the Palais des Festivals. "In the world of new media, nothing's more important than this relationship," he said.