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David Droga calls on creatives to realise their worth at Cannes Lions

David Droga opened the Cannes advertising festival with a call for creatives to recognise their own value and a reminder to the industry that their integrity matters.

Droga, Australia’s most celebrated advertising export and one of the most awarded admen, presented the opening keynote of the 2018 Cannes Lions about the 12 months since receiving the festival’s Lion of St. Mark for lifetime achievement to the ad industry last year.


“A lot of this business is run by people who are happy that us creatives are content with just winning things and not getting material impact,” Droga said as he recounted his early years in London.

“Too many creatives aren’t well compensated and aren’t being rewarded well enough and getting the fuzzy end of the stick.

“Why can’t creative people get rewarded for what they do at agencies? Because so much of what we do and the work we put out there is the lifeblood of agencies.”

Droga couldn’t help having a swipe at Sir Martin Sorrell’s current position and Publicis’ withdrawal from this year’s awards saying: “A number of things have happened in 2018. The festival is smaller. You could say condensed and concentrated. The industry swirl is arguable bigger. Martin Sorrell is now an underdog. Whoever knew?

“Marcel finally launched, all that AI and why they boycotted the festival but there are more Publicis people here and all their things are entered anyway.

Droga warned authenticity is what works in the ad industry pointing out: “Every time we’ve tried to pretend to be someone who we are not, it never works.”

“Always present what you think is the right solution, not the solution you think is best for you. So much of our industry benefits ourselves more than our clients.”

Droga wound up his keynote with a reminder to the advertising industry of what it can do: “Our job is to move people and do extraordinary things.”

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