Brand accountability and activism

"55% of consumers believe companies have a more important role than governments today in creating a better future."

Havas Meaningful Brands Report, 2019

This theme will provide...

...a platform for the world’s biggest brands and agencies to discuss how they’re tackling critical global issues, from climate change to inequality. Find out how they are enacting change day-to-day to ensure they follow through on their missions and beliefs.

You have made it loud and clear. The time for discussion and awareness is over. It is time for action. There is no doubt that authentic, purpose-driven work can have a positive impact on behaviour and society and support business results. But there is growing evidence that people are cynical of brands who "purpose-wash" for short-term gains. We're in woke times.

As the stakes become higher, brands and companies must live out their beliefs and missions or get their house in order before they seek to take communications messages to market. In essence, they need to be fully accountable. They must walk the talk.

At Cannes Lions 2020, we will address purpose in a far more practical and actionable way. We will hear what some of the world’s biggest brands and agencies are DOING to tackle massive global issues including climate change, inequality, gun control and hunger. We will also raise the benchmark when it comes to what is possible with the creative clout of our industry behind it.

We will explore

  • Case studies from some of the brands doing authentic purpose-driven work that not only improves lives, but drives return.
  • Campaigns that intersect social good with good business.
  • The responsibilities that the industry has to safeguard the privacy and safety of consumers.

This is a business critical, expansive topic and we will devote time to exploring all its facets.

Some of the big questions are:

  • In an era of woke-washing, how can brands authentically engage consumers in purpose-driven activism?
  • What are the best, most sustainable examples of high-performing, purpose driven work?
  • In a world where everyone is “doing” purpose, does it still matter?
  • We need answers, not rhetoric. What can we – as an industry – do to tackle big, global issues?

We have some of the world’s best creative talent in one place. We want to harness this opportunity to enact real change.