Mediacorp responds to criticism all-male Young Lions jury is sending ‘wrong message’

This year's Singapore Young Lions jury

This year’s Singapore Young Lions jury

Mediacorp has responded to criticism that its judging panel to select creatives to represent Singapore in the Young Lions at Cannes this year was sending “the wrong message” about the advertising industry by consisting only of men.

A comment beneath a story announcing the creative jury earlier this week noted: “2016, there isn’t a single woman in the jury. I’m not second-guessing the competence of the panel, but this fact sends out the wrong message…”

Mediacorp, Singapore’s official Cannes Lions representative, said that female creatives had been invited to join the panel, but their schedules had conflicted with the judging period.

A statement from the broadcaster in response to the comment reads: “We take careful effort to select our jury members. They are veterans of the creative industry with different strengths from diverse disciplines.”

The panel is led by Leo Burnett Singapore creative chief Chris Chiu, and includes DDB’s Joji Jacob, TBWA\Singapore’s newly promoted ECD Gary Steele, Blak Labs boss Charlie Blower, and Kinetic creative director Pann Lim.

“We invited female creative heads during our selection unfortunately their schedules could not fit our judging date. We certainly recognise the women rising up from creative field, as we have nominated female juries to represent Singapore in Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity every year. It’s not fair to make presumptions of our commitment to drive creative excellence based on the existing jury panel for the national competition this year,” the company said.

Mediacorp’s selection policies for the Young Lions have prompted comment before. In 2014, the decision was made to exclude foreign talent from the competition.


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