Advertising’s biggest event of the year, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, will not go forward with its 2020 edition, organizers announced this morning.
The advertising awards festival, which traditionally takes place in June, had hoped to go on by rescheduling to late October. Now, the next edition of the festival won’t be held until June 21-25, 2021.
Though many events have been postponed or canceled out of fear of spreading the COVID-19 contagion that has ravaged countries around the globe, Cannes Lions organizers said they were also looking at how it has disrupted the advertising and marketing world.
“As the impact from COVID-19 continues to be felt across the world on consumers and our customers across the marketing, creative and media industries, it has become clear to us our customers’ priorities have shifted to the need to protect people, to serve consumers with essential items and to focus on preserving companies, society and economies,” organizers said in a statement. “Our difficult decision follows in-depth consultations with our partners and customers and reflects the unprecedented societal, health and economic challenges currently facing the world, as well as our desire to remove any uncertainty about the running of the awards and event for our partners and customers.”
The Cannes Lions is the latest to be scrubbed entirely from the 2020 calendar as the timeline for how long the coronavirus will continue to spread remains unclear.
Events that are moving forward so far have had to make drastic changes. The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s NewFronts have gone digital-only and were rescheduled from April to June—but the TV media buyers conference will be going ahead without some of its biggest participants, including Amazon and Digitas. The coronavirus has also pushed back primary elections in over a dozen states, with the Democratic National Convention delayed from July to August.