Monday Insights at Ad Week Europe 2015

Salma Hayek and Facebook's Nicola Mendelsohn prepare for an audience selfie at Advertising Week Europe.
Salma Hayek and Facebook's Nicola Mendelsohn prepare for an audience selfie at Advertising Week Europe.

The London event draws prominent industry figures with challenging ideas

LONDON — Advertising Week Europe opened Monday, and speakers at the industry’s big event wasted no time speaking up on a range of topics, some of them controversial.

Maurice Lévy blasts UK "in/out" referendum on EU membership.  The Conservative Party's commitment to hold a referendum on Europe is "very dangerous," according to the Publicis Groupe chairman and chief executive. In response to a question from Rupert Howell, the group transformation director at Trinity Mirror, about the potential repercussions of the general election, Lévy said: "I am so sorry David Cameron has decided to call a referendum. It is very dangerous. Okay it could end as for Scotland, but it could also end up very differently and this would be the end of Europe as we dream it. It would be a very strong disappointment." Read more on Campaign UK.

Salma Hayek names Avon as brand association she's most proud of. Hayek's association with cosmetics brand Avon is the marketing work she is most proud of, the Hollywood star told delegates at Advertising Week Europe. The Mexico-born actor, director, producer and campaigner for women’s rights, was addressing an audience in a Q&A session hosted by Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice-president EMEA. She also told the audience that she has just joined Facebook, while tomorrow she is joining Instagram using the handle @salmahayek. "Today, you lose your social media virginity," Mendelsohn told her. "Who’s popping my cherry?" Hayek replied. Read more on Marketing.

Rev. Giles Fraser explains "Why I hate advertising." Giles Fraser, ex- canon chancellor at St Paul's who resigned in 2011 over the eviction of the Occupy London protesters, gave advertising both barrels at an Ad Week Europe seminar. Fraser’s opening gambit was "Why I hate advertising," and the priest told a story about spending a pleasant day in his garden with his children only to go into his house, switch on his TV and be met with commercial messages that told him his life "was a bit shit." He said: "It seemed to me that what advertising is doing is generating dissatisfaction [...] Not just personal unhappiness but social unhappiness." Read more on Campaign UK.

Agencies need to make more use of audience insight, says Mark Creighton. The creative and communications process of a campaign needs to be informed by the audience, according to Mark Creighton, the chief executive at Mindshare UK. Speaking at "The Guardian Leadership Breakfast: Influence in a Fragmented Age" at Advertising Week Europe, Creighton said agencies are starting from the "wrong" place in moving from a creative agency to a communications agency. The industry has not "gone through a structural or behavioral change to bring all of that together," he said. Read more on Campaign UK.

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