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Post Cannes

06/07/2006 - par Mark Tungate

Idon't know about you, but my Cannes hangover has still not gone away. For a journalist, the event is much more about networking than watching ads. If I were a young creative, I might assiduously hunker down in the screening room to watch surreal spots from Thailand, or stealthily try to take pictures of the print entries. But as a writer, encounters and anecdotes are the main reasons for ­taking the train down south.

Networking, of course, means parties - and the parties at Cannes are of megalithic proportions. The amount of cash spent on them sometimes makes me shiver with guilt. Can yoghurt, burgers and detergent really have paid for all this excess ? The Leo Burnett party was a case in point : world class DJs and a marquee that appeared to be swathed in black velvet, adorned with glass chandeliers. A touch of Burnett branding could be seen in the apples displayed at strategic points. But these parties are not about reinforcing an agency's brand identity. (Most agencies don't actually have a strong brand identity, preferring to save that expertise for their clients.) They are about motivating their staff and showing off to their peers. They are about flaunting success : quite an Eighties notion, when you think about it.

We independent traders can't afford such a fancy showcase for our talents. But who cares ? No matter how extravagant the parties, everyone always ends up at the bar of the Martinez. Maybe one agency should just sponsor it.

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