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Cannes Lionnes Crunch the Numbers – and Just 9.09% of Winners are Gender Equal

Awards and Events 317 Add to collection

Europe and South America come bottom in the Lionnes rankings while North America leads the way, writes LBB’s Laura Swinton

Cannes Lionnes Crunch the Numbers – and Just 9.09% of Winners are Gender Equal
As troop after troop of all-male teams climbed on stage at the Palais to pick up awards last week at Cannes, you might have got the hunch that, despite big talk the industry is still failing women. And now, French campaigning organisation Les Lionnes has carried out an analysis on the Cannes Lions 2019 winners and have found that suspicion bears out in the numbers.

A team of 50 Lionnes, led by Lionnes’ founder and president Christelle Delarue, analysed the credit lists of all entries and awarded those that fit a set criteria. And of the winners, only 9.09% were deemed to be gender equal. 100 Cannes Lionnes were awarded – that’s 68 Bronze, 25 Silver and 7 Gold.

The criteria was as follows:

Lionne D'or

The campaign cannot be suspected to be sexist
Credit sheet is totally gender equal
The creative director is female
The agency board committee is totally gender equal
 
Lionne D'Argent

The campaign cannot be suspected to be sexist
Credit sheet is totally gender equal
The creative director is female
 
Lionne De Bronze

The campaign cannot be suspected to be sexist
Credit sheet is totally gender equal
 
Lionnes’ President Christelle Delarue said that the analysis revealed frustrating lack of women at the top, but acknowledged that North America is leading the way. “For 10 Cannes Lions given, we gave on Cannes Lionnes. It’s a ten to one ratio. 90% of the time, we gave Bronze Lionnes, but it was mainly because women had account or post-production roles. There are very few Silver Lionnes or Gold Lionnes, since women rarely own creative roles, or creative director roles. When it comes to board committees, it’s even worse, parity is very scarcely met. There’s a true breakthrough on that matter in North American countries. The least deserving regions are definitely Europe and South America. We’ve spotted a vast number of campaigns with 100% male credits. On the contrary, absolutely ZERO campaign had 100% female credits.”

Saniye Gülser Corat, Director of Gender Equality division of Unesco, said the results revealed a dark core of sexism within the industry. "The goal of advertising is to reach the greatest number of people. It does so by finding the lowest common denominator, which holds both conscious and unconscious biases. Sexism is the worst of these primal instincts and the advertising industry spreads it without a hint of remorse. An urgent intervention is needed. We need to tell agencies that their addiction to abusive patterns is unacceptable. The Cannes Lionnes remind us that women are equal partners, as creators and as consumers."

The Lionnes have roared loudly over the course of a relatively short period of time. From publicly shaming French agencies accused of fostering sexist cultures and sheltering abuses of power via a guerrilla poster campaign to gathering testimony from women forced from their jobs, the team has accelerated the conversation in the French industry. And the Cannes Lionnes awards have taken that spirit international.

Of the progress made, Cindy Gallop said: “When you can't find justice within the system, you have to deliver justice outside the system. I applaud everything Christelle Delarue and Les Lionnes are doing to challenge and change bias, sexism and sexual harassment in the French ad industry, and to highlight the need for our industry's biggest celebration of creativity to embrace and set this agenda globally, especially given its location in France. We are women: hear us roar.”








UPDATE: This article was edited on 26/06/2019 to rectify a miscalculation. The previous figure had stated 11.23% of winners are gender equal. The correct figure is 9.09%.

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LBB Editorial, Tue, 25 Jun 2019 09:27:14 GMT