Apr 3, 2020 - Economy

Cannes Lions ad festival canceled due to coronavirus

Photo: Richard Bord/Getty Images for Cannes Lions

Cannes Lions, the advertising industry's biggest awards show and gathering, has been officially canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak — after initially being postponed to late October.

Why it matters: The festival in southern France serves as a mid-year meeting point for top advertising and media executives around the world.

What they're saying: "As the impact from COVID-19 continues to be felt across the world on consumers and our customers across the marketing, creative and media industries, it has become clear to us our customers’ priorities have shifted to the need to protect people, to serve consumers with essential items and to focus on preserving companies, society and economies," festival organizers said in a statement Friday.

The big picture: Even if the festival still took place, many businesses would likely need to pull back their investments, given how bleak the ad market has been.

  • Analysts expect overall global ad revenue to be down roughly 4.4% for 2020 because of coronavirus — excluding cyclical events like the 2020 presidential election.

What's next: The festival organizers said that the next edition of the festival will be take place in June 2021.

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