Evie Barrett
Jun 12, 2023

Clean Creatives warns of disruption at Cannes Lions 2023

Clean Creatives has announced its intentions to ‘go bigger and better’ with its disruption of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year.

Clean Creatives warns of disruption at Cannes Lions 2023

The campaign group has confirmed it will return to Cannes Lions with its group of young creatives who disrupted the festival last year, planning to once again launch in-person activations and share social media content from the event.

The group says its overall aim is to “grab attention, ignite conversation and inspire action, making the issue of fossil-fuel clients unavoidable for ad professionals both online and in-person during the event”.

The group will be working with not-for-profit network Creatives for Climate, which plans to deploy a ‘Secret Agents of Change’ campaign by giving out ‘Greenwash Swatch’ booklets.

These handheld toolkits are designed to be pulled out by attendees to identify examples of greenwashing at any moment, in hopes of offering “a simple and provocative way to fuel conversations about brand accountability online”.

After this, Clean Creatives will partner Creatives for Climate on a Change Agent Happy Hour on 20 June, where the groups will issue an additional 100 toolkits to inspire collective action across organisations’ broader networks.

Lucy von Sturmer, initiator and chair of Creatives for Climate, said: “Our mission at Cannes is to challenge the most creative minds in the industry, questioning what they’re using their creativity for.

“The cognitive dissonance many executives have held to justify ‘business as usual’ in the face of the escalating climate crisis is waning, and we look forward to shifting gears to partner with agencies and brands to empower them to become change agents – for real.”

At Cannes, The Next Level Climate Summit is being hosted on 20 June in a partnership between Clean Creatives, Creatives for Climate, the Embassy of Dutch Creativity, Purpose Disruptors and Scope3.

Clean Creatives’ executive director Duncan Meisel will host a panel about the Clean Creatives pledge, exploring the power that industry leaders have when they unite in refusal to produce work for big oil clients.

Meisel said: “The climate crisis is happening too quickly to just focus on your carbon footprint – we need to build connections between approaches and seize the opportunities to make rapid change.

“The Next Level Climate Summit will bring together the creative industry’s most ambitious sustainability thinkers and doers, and provide agencies, holding companies and brands with a chance to build a comprehensive strategy to become leaders on this issue.”

Meanwhile, two Clean Creatives creators, Tolmeia Gregory and Jacob Simon, will host a panel on the broader topic of navigating greenwashing and the climate crisis from a creator’s perspective.

Creatives for Climate will also host a panel, looking at whether solving the climate crisis could help solve the creative industry’s talent crisis.

Creatives for Climate’s Von Sturmer added: “We’re grateful for our collaboration with Clean Creatives and echo that the first step to meaningful change is divestment from the most harmful destroyers – namely oil and gas.”


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