"All clients kind of suck."

The message from the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity resonated largely because of its source.

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Axel Schwan, EVP/Global CMO, Burger King

Burger King (BK) had just been named "Creative Marketer of the Year" at the event, a reflection on its consistent focus on delivering bold, breakthrough communications. Axel Schwan, the restaurant chain's EVP/Global CMO, reported that its marketing team had enjoyed a "historic week" of recognition for their efforts.

The lessons from Burger King's success, he told a Cannes keynote audience, would not lead his fellow clients to an instant state of marketing nirvana. But a new set of guidelines, Schwan proposed, could at least help his peers "suck less" in pursuit of their craft.