Burnett creatives respond to Publicis’ exit from Cannes


New signage on the Leo Burnett building in Chicago

The Windy City has never been afraid to take on an issue or let you know exactly how they feel about things.

After Publicis-Groupe CEO, Arthur Sadoun, shocked not only the advertising world, but the creatives at Burnett with his announcement that all agencies in the network would skip award shows for at least a year in order to focus on bringing its professional assistant AI, ‘Marcel’ (named after founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet) to life, Burnett’s creatives responded.

They kept the way founder Leo Burnett preferred — fun, simple and passionate — by covering his name with a sheet of paper reading one word — “Marcel."

While radical and playful at the same time, it falls in line with the words he spoke about if and when to take his name off the door when he retired in 1967.

In an article in Adweek, an angry Leo staffer was quoted as, “It blindsided everyone. Creatives are confused and concerned. Why cut costs by cutting one of the industry’s biggest incentives to deliver great work? Is AI really going to help solve our clients’ problems? Do I really want to work on a Chinese brief from my desk in Chicago? The whole project is tone deaf and de-humanizing.”

According to this same report, Burnett management has yet to respond to staff concerns, because they’re all in Cannes trying to win awards.

Follow Colin Costello on Twitter @colincostello10.

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