Why no Arabic representatives at Cannes?

peter-bidenko1Congratulations are due to Peter Bidenko, the former creative director of Tequila Sydney, who will be jetting off to southern France this summer to be a jury member at the Cannes Lions festival.

The expat Aussie, who currently enjoys two jobs for the price of one as executive creative director of Impact Proximity and creative director of Impact BBDO in Dubai, will be representing the UAE in the direct category.

UAE representatives – or Middle East representatives for that matter – are a rarity on Cannes Lions juries. If my memory serves me correctly, only two from the region have previously been jurors – Kerry Platts, the executive creative director of Wunderman Dubai, in 2007; and Ed Jones, the former regional creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi, in 2008.

So far, then, we’ve had two Brits and one Australian representing the Middle East’s creative community at Cannes. Yet, if you cast your mind back to last year’s Dubai Lynx, all but one of the grand prix winners were from outside the UAE – from Beirut, Cairo and Doha – while the agency of the year, JWT Dubai, is dominated by Lebanese expats such as executive creative director, Chafic Haddad.

Is it daft to ask, therefore, where are the Arabic speaking representatives of the Arab world at Cannes?


3 Responses to Why no Arabic representatives at Cannes?

  1. Magic Man says:

    Cannes sticks with what it knows. Arab creatives are an unknown quantity and are, by and large, still to prove themselves globally.

  2. anubis says:

    I am sure that this will change soon.

  3. anubis says:

    Judging by the 2009 Dubai Lynx…I will not hold my breath any longer.

    To judge awards has nothing to do with ethnicity. It has to do with talent, experience, achievement and most importantly it has to do with personal integrity.

    how can someone who won with spoof/ghost ads or copycat ads serve as a judge in a creative jury.


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