Four ‘creative young minds’ to compete at Cannes Lions event

Only 36 members of 12,000-strong Irish advertising industry attended last year’s festival

Some 12,000 people work in the Irish advertising industry, but just 36 of them attended the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the industry's global premier event, last year, according to the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI).

The professional body is now hoping to boost Irish representation, in part by entering four “creative young minds” in the Cannes Young Lions competition.

In recent years, the Irish advertising industry has not sent a team to represent Ireland in the search "for the next generation of Lion-winning superstars", which takes place as part of the festival in June, but this year, two teams of two will be sent to France, with their participation sponsored by Google and image library company Shutterstock.

The idea is that teams create a strategy for a real-life charity, which for the national stage of the competition is Multiple Sclerosis Ireland.


A full briefing and Q&A session will be held at Waterways Ireland in Dublin's Grand Canal Quay at 8.30am tomorrow (February 6th) and representatives of the charity will be present.

Guy Abrahams, ZenithOptimedia’s worldwide strategic marketing director, who was a judge at the Cannes Young Lions competition last year, will chair the judging panel for the Irish competition and will be on hand to explain the process and scoring system at the briefing event.

There are no Irish judges on the panel, “in order to be transparent”, IAPI says.

Pencils at the ready: Entrants have three weeks to develop a strategy and put together a presentation ahead of the February 20th closing date.

To compete, they must be working in an Irish advertising agency and aged 28 or under at the time of the Cannes competition (born on or after June 21st, 1985).

At the event, IAPI chief executive Tania Banotti will also reveal a three-year strategy to increase the global standing and profile of Ireland's advertising industry.

“The briefing event is the start of a strategy to build Ireland’s reputation as a creative hub producing world-class creative work,” she says.

“Irish agencies are seldom asked to compete on international pitches. Cannes Lions is a huge opportunity for our industry to be exposed to the best global creative work being produced, to compete and to network.”

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics