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In a year in which #MeToo shook the entertainment and media industries, the toxic culture facing women in advertising and the steps needed to change it are sure to be hot topics at the Cannes Lions Festival.
#MeToo founder and Time’s Person of the Year Tarana Burke will be part of FCB’s “Never Finished” panel along with Levi Strauss & Co.’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Sey.
Sey, a former international gymnast who wrote a memoir, “Chalked Up,” has been outspoken about abuses in the sport.
The talk is set to focus on “female empowerment” and what “inspired these two change-makers to take action and to continue in the face of daunting criticism.”
There will also be a panel on “Redefining Miss America in the Age of #MeToo” featuring Gretchen Carlson, who helped to bring down Fox’s Roger Ailes, and Leslie Sims, the chief creative officer for Y&R North America, the agency of record for the pageant, which just scrapped its swimsuit segment. Carlson is on the board.
An anonymous group called #WomenCannes is asking women at the ad fest and back home to show solidarity and support the #TimesUpAdvertising movement by wearing black on Friday. They are also offering (temporary) lioness tattoos.
“This is a statement of solidarity and safety for us all,” says their site. “Because we, the people of advertising have 0 tolerance for sexual misconduct. And existing systems and laws are still letting us down.”
Separately, the Girls’ Lounge at the Hotel Martinez will also offer a number of female-focused events on issues like breaking through in male-dominated industries, financial empowerment and women role models.
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