IPG, Omnicom, WPP, and Publicis Unite for Working with Cancer’s Next Move

IPG, Omnicom, WPP, and Publicis
Leading industry giants, including Edelman, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis, and WPP, have formed a cross-industry coalition to welcome creative professionals to participate in the project’s briefing.

Working with Cancer, a groundbreaking workplace movement, is set to enter its third phase this year with a mission to eradicate the stigma associated with cancer in professional environments. The initiative, launched at Davos and endorsed through a high-profile Super Bowl media campaign, will unveil a global brief during the Cannes Lions festival, inviting the entire industry to join forces in this transformative endeavor.

Leading industry giants, including Edelman, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis, and WPP, have formed a cross-industry coalition to welcome creative professionals to participate in the project’s briefing. Contestants will vie for the opportunity to craft a powerful campaign that will be showcased on World Cancer Day 2024, as part of a global multimedia initiative backed by a staggering $100 million.

The Working with Cancer brief, titled ‘The Big C,’ will be presented on Thursday, June 22, at 10 am CET in the Lumiere theatre, Palais I. Participants will be tasked with creating a culture-defying campaign that resonates with individuals living and working with cancer.

Cannes Lions, renowned for its celebration of creativity, will facilitate the judging process. A panel composed of senior creative and strategy leaders from the five supporting holding companies will form the jury. Esteemed industry figures, such as Susan Credle (Global Chair & Global Chief Creative Officer, FCB), Chaka Sobhani (Global Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett), Luiz Sanches (Chief Creative Officer of BBDO NA), Judy John (Global Chief Creative Officer of Edelman), and Debbi Vandeven (Global Chief Creative Officer of VMLY&R), will serve as jurors.

Starting from Monday, July 10, participants will have the opportunity to submit their entries until Friday, September 15. The judging process will unfold throughout October, with the winner announced at the end of that month.

The ultimate goal of Working with Cancer is to eliminate the stigma and uncertainty surrounding cancer in the workplace. Initially launched by Publicis Groupe, this program has evolved into an alliance of major international companies, with over 600 pledged businesses impacting up to 20 million employees. Together, they are united in creating an inclusive, supportive, and forward-thinking culture for individuals affected by cancer. The program continues to draw strength from partnerships with influential cancer research organizations and figures, including Dani Trops, The Stroups, CancerChic, and Laurie MacCatskill.

Working with Cancer has already received recognition at Cannes Lions, with the Lions Health Grand Prix for Good bestowed upon the initiative this week.

Simon Cook, CEO at LIONS, expressed his pride in supporting the Working with Cancer pledge, stating, “LIONS is a proud supporter of the Working with Cancer pledge and happy to lend our world-class judging process to a competition that provides an exciting opportunity for the industry to unite and work towards removing the stigma of cancer in the workplace.”

Carla Serrano, Global CSO of Publicis Groupe, emphasized the overwhelming response from peers and clients since the program’s launch earlier this year. Serrano stated, “Today, alongside Edelman, IPG, Omnicom, and WPP, we invite the industry to step up to arguably one of the most worthwhile and high-profile creative challenges they will ever work on. In raising awareness for Working with Cancer and encouraging more pledging companies, we will redefine cancer in the workplace and enable recovery-forward environments worldwide.”

Luiz Sanches, Chief Creative Officer of BBDO North America, speaking on behalf of Omnicom, affirmed their enthusiastic support for this crucial initiative, saying, “No one chooses cancer, cancer chooses you, and the workplace must be a safe and supportive environment. There is no better place than Cannes Lions to continue to drive the mission of Working with Cancer, and I look forward to seeing the incredible work we are able to do for this special organization.”

Susan Credle, Global Chair & Global Chief Creative Officer of FCB, highlighted the significance of collaboration in overcoming the stigma associated with cancer in the workplace, stating, “Advertising is a highly competitive industry. We all like to win. This initiative calls us all together to beat the stigma of cancer in the workplace. This is going to be a collective win for everyone.”

Working with Cancer organizes quarterly Founding Partner meetings to review actions taken by participating organizations in support of the pledge.

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