Cannes Lions staff told to WFH as it ponders final decision on festival

A call will be made no later than April 15.

Ascential, the parent company behind Cannes Lions, has told its staff to work from home amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

The call was made as organizers decide whether to plow ahead with the festival’s June date or to postpone until October

A statement from Ascential reads: "Ascential has advised all our people to work from home for a period of four weeks as a response to the current Covid-19 outbreak. We have clear processes in place to manage any potential disruption, including contingencies for our people, workplaces, platforms/technology and supporting services. 

"As a company that fully embraces flexible and remote working, this change of ways of working will mean that we remain fully operational. We have also updated our travel policies and health advice, in-line with World Health Organisation and to reflect local government guidelines."

Last week, Simon Cook, managing director of Cannes Lions, told Campaign US that the organization wants to be open about its contingency plan "as the global situation is evolving constantly."

He said: "We have consulted with our customers and partners and have prepared accordingly by putting measures in place to allow flexibility, should we need it. As always, the safety of all those involved is our utmost priority, and any decision we take will reflect this."

The festival has secured alternative dates with the Mayor of Cannes and French authorities for October 26 to 30 if it must shift the event due to changing circumstances. Cannes Lions will announce the potential date change no later than April 15. The deadline to enter work into the festival is April 16.

"Irrespective of the timing of the festival, we want to reassure the global creative community that we are fully committed to awarding Lions in 2020: all entries will still be judged and awarded by our global juries," said Cannes Lions in a statement.

"As things stand, anyone who is submitting a Lions entry for 2020 should follow the existing process and timeline. If anything about that process changes, we will issue a further announcement."

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