Rob Flaherty

Senior Partner, CEO and Chairman

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is one of the largest and most well-respected events in our industry, and Ketchum has long realized the impact it has on our clients and the marketing space. As such, we approach the festival each year with enthusiasm: looking to make our mark and showcase where PR is heading, while soaking up as much knowledge as we can to pass back on to our clients and colleagues. 

This year, the biggest themes of the conference were: 

  • It's not enough to have great creative – it needs to be put in front of the right people, at the right moment, for the right amount of time. In other words, context is the natural complement to content, and just as important to get right. 
  • Content is still king, but simplicity is key. Strikingly simple ideas, beautifully executed, always wins as Cannes.
  • True diversity comes from hiring creatives of different backgrounds, disciplines, temperaments and points of view – not just gender or race. 


Ketchum has long since established itself as a leader at Cannes - we were one of the first PR agencies to win a Cannes Lion award and were one of the first PR agencies to get deeply involved in the festival through our sponsorship of the Cannes Young Lions Marketers Competition. In 2016, we sponsored the competition again for our sixth straight year. And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we added an award to our Cannes Lions Award total, and had 10 entries shortlisted in categories across the communications spectrum.

We also had two great sessions on the Cannes stage: Content for the Ages: All of Them and The Art of the Deal: Let’s Make a Movie.  Check out the Ketchum at Cannes section to read more about the key insights and takeaways from our sessions.

We’re also sharing a glimpse at the online conversation generated by Ketchum at the festival, as well as a look at some of our attendee’s best learnings and a closer look at the Cannes Young Lions Marketers Competition sponsorship.

I’m thrilled to share these learnings with you in this issue of Perspectives. I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to contact me at with any questions or comments.