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Cannes Lions & One Club show support for Ukraine

The Cannes Lions and The One Club for Creativity have both come out in support of Ukraine, while a number of brands, such as Accenture, Spotify and Volkwagen have exited Russia.
Source: ©Accenture
Source: ©Accenture Accenture

Both Awards have taken steps to support Ukriane and creatives in that country as well as put in place humanitarian assistance.

Cannes Lions take action

The Cannes Lions' statement says: “We stand together with our friends in Ukraine, and our many partners and community members in Russia who strongly oppose the actions of the Russian Government.”

In the statement they have detailed three decisions:

  • Despite our desire to celebrate creativity from wherever it comes, we have made the decision not to accept submissions or delegations from Russian organisations into Cannes Lions or its associated awards programmes.
  • As an immediate action, Ascential and LIONS will make a significant donation to humanitarian charities working in the affected region.
  • While we recognise that this is only a small gesture, we will welcome free of charge any and all Ukraine creatives who are able to attend Cannes Lions. Refunds on awards submissions for Ukraine agencies will also be honoured.

The Cannes Lions also established a talent directory for affected members of the creative community on the Lions platform, and encourage the global community to commission and support these members during these troubled times.

“Our thoughts go out to the people of Ukraine and other affected members of the community at this extremely difficult time,” says the statement.

The One Club condemns Russian invasion

In a statement sent out The One Club for Creativity says it “condemns in the strongest terms the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the humanitarian crisis it has inflicted on the country.

“We support the courageous citizens of Ukraine, the global efforts to preserve the nation’s sovereignty and democracy by combating this unspeakable and unprovoked war, and the rights of people everywhere to live in peace.”

It also announced a number of initiatives:

  • Refunds of fees for all entries to The One Show 2022, ADC 101st Annual Awards and Young Ones Student Awards submitted from Ukraine.
  • Provide all of the club’s networking resources and other support programming at no cost to the Ukrainian creative community.
  • Make a sizable donation to Come Back Alive to help support relief efforts.

“We recognise these actions are small in the face of the tragic situation in the Ukraine, but we are committed to doing all we can to help with these and other initiatives to come,” say the One Club.

“Our support for the entire global creative community extends to agencies and creatives in Russia who stand against the war and oppression, and have nothing to do with the horrific actions of their state leaders,” it adds.

“We firmly believe positive change can only come through dialogue and the exchange of ideas, and raising these voices rather than excluding them should be our goal. “Our sincere thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and we hope for a swift end to the invasion and peaceful resolution to this horrendous crisis,” it further states.

Accenture discontinues business in Russia

Accenture announced that it is discontinuing its business in Russia. Last year Accenture in South Africa acquired the creative agency, King James. Asked for comment the Accenture SA office sent the global statement as sent out by Accenture.

“Accenture stands with the people of Ukraine and the governments, companies and individuals around the world calling for the immediate end to the unlawful and horrific attack on the people of Ukraine and their freedom,” says the press release on the Accenture website.

The statement further thanks its nearly 2,300 colleagues in Russia for their dedication and service to Accenture over the years. Accenture’s marketing services division Accenture Interactive, which works with clients such as Unilever, Avianca and Radisson Hotels, is also based in Russia. “We will be providing support to our Russian colleagues,” says the statement.

While Accenture does not have a business in Ukraine, the business consultancy says it continue its efforts to help its Ukrainian colleagues working around the globe at Accenture and their extended families as well as provide telehealth for those in Ukraine, and helping resettle family members who leave Ukraine.

“We are donating $5m to non-profit relief organisations working to help people in Ukraine and those who are being displaced into Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. We are also matching 100% of the donations from our people,” says the statement.Adweek, which also reported on the press release.

Adweek quotes Julie Sweet, chair and chief executive of Accenture, saying: “Accenture is committed to supporting humanitarian aid to address the crisis and we stand with all in the global community who are calling for peace."

Accenture joins Volkswagen and Spotify as the number of countries exiting Russia grows.

Spotify services operational in Russia

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Spotify had closed its Russian office and that it has put restrictions on users being able to find shows by Russian state media.

The WSJ quoted a Spotift spokesperson saying: “Our first priority over the past week has been the safety of our employees and to ensure that Spotify continues to serve as an important source of global and regional news at a time when access to information is more important than ever.”

While Spotify reviewing thousands of pieces of content since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, it opted to restrict shows owned and operated by Russian state media. It also removed content from Russia's state-backed RT and Sputnik in the European Union, but its service is still available within Russia.

“We think it’s critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information,” said the spokesperson to the WSJ.

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.
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