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Everyone in advertising has heard the salacious rumors and stories about the Cannes Lions Festival basically being a city-wide - industry-wide - meat market with all sorts of raunchy shenanigans happening. And every year there is at least one sexual harassment story, per night, that spreads like wildfire around le Croisette. One can only guess how many stories aren't sent around the grapevine.
With stories of appalling behavior and sexual harassment already surfacing in the industry in the run-up to the first in-person Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity since 2019, timeTo is re-releasing its 2019 film “Where do you draw the line?”, and adding a series of social posts to go with it to encourage senior agency people to properly protect their staff from sexual harassment and aggressive behavior.
As an aside, am I the only one who immediately thinks of TBWA when I see that red forward slash? I know TBWA's is a backslash, It's just a connection my brain is making here.
With Lucky Generals, timeTo has launched a social campaign along with the film that is updated to reflect Cannes post-pandemic. timeTo doesn't want to spoil the fun of the creativity festival, they make clear, they just want people to be alert and aware that sexual harassment does happen.
A spokesperson for timeTo says:
We also want to offer advice to senior people and team leaders who have staff going over to Cannes to help keep them safe.
· Familiarise yourself with the timeTo Code of Conduct and share it with your team attending Cannes
· If you aren’t an endorser – sign up NOW and download the Code and assets so that you can share them with your team.
· Leaders also ought to be talking to every member of staff ahead of the event to ask them to let them know immediately if they are feeling unsure or under pressure. Make sure you are contactable for your staff and know they can go to you day or night if they are being harassed.
· Pre-book your cab back to the hotel or premises where you are staying if you know you going to be returning late from a function
· Have the NABS advice line number to hand if you feel you need advice and support 0800707 6607
In 2021, research commissioned by timeTo found that in a survey of 1,250 people, half (49%) expected sexual harassment to rise as the industry returns to office working. Nine out of 10 (89%) added that sexual harassment is an issue the industry still needs to tackle. We can easily assume unfortunately the same concerns will translate to Cannes, as this year's will be the first physical festival in two years.