• Plus, the Tokyo Olympics are on the ropes

Cannes, contingent

Cannes Lions announced its 2021 jury presidents—57% of whom will be women—who are now gearing up for an in-person Festival of Creativity in June. Fortunately, the Ascential-owned event is planning for a switch to remote judging in case the festival needs to move to a virtual experience again. That’s great news for judges, who are usually sequestered in close quarters for days to hash out the winners.

“Judging of the Lions will take place live during Cannes Lions in June, despite ongoing lockdowns and restrictions at the moment in Europe,” writes Ad Age’s Alexandra Jardine. “France announced a 6 p.m. curfew last week, while in the U.K., full national lockdown is ongoing, and the Glastonbury Festival, which usually takes place in the same week as Cannes, announced today that it was canceling until 2022.”

Bozoma Saint John, global chief marketing officer at Netflix, will head the Glass Lion jury. Dentsu Mcgarrybowen’s Merlee Jayme will lead the Radio and Audio jury and AKQA’s Geoff Northcott will lead the Creative Business Transformation jury, rounding out the full list of jury presidents for this year’s festival.

Final verdict

Facebook’s independent Oversight Board will determine whether Donald Trump can get his account back. It was suspended after the riots at the Capitol two weeks ago, and now that Trump is longer the leader of the free world, much of the leeway he had been granted in bending or breaking the platform’s rules has evaporated.

In a way, Facebook is washing its hands of the decision. The platform says it will abide by whatever verdict the Oversight Board makes, whether to reinstate Trump or ban him permanently. The board is also setting precedent here. Going forward, will world leaders continue to be afforded the benefit of the doubt? Or will they be held to the same standard as billions of other users around the world?

Name game

Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot owner PSA Group finally christened their merger with a new moniker: Stellantis. It’s not a sci-fi movie or a submersible vehicle. But despite the jokes it spawned, it also isn’t a bad name, argue Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz and Jessica Wohl.

“New names at the corporate level often follow mergers and acquisitions, as is the case with Stellantis, and can help employees and shareholders from the previously separate organizations unite,” they write. It also doesn’t elevate one brand over another, preventing friction between new coworkers.

And the name makes no mention of cars or motors (or any objects at all) leaving the option open to evolve the product line as consumer tastes and technology change.

Canceled culture

According to the Times of London, the Japanese government is coming to terms with the fact that the Tokyo Olympic Games will need to be canceled. The games are scheduled to begin Jul. 23, after being postponed a year due to the coronavirus.

Officially, the games are still on, and the International Olympic Committee insisted to Japan’s Kyodo News on Thursday that “there is no plan B.” But of course there must be a contingency plan, given the coronavirus surge across the globe, including in Japan, and new variants cropping up in multiple countries. A recent survey in Japan showed 77% of respondents favor canceling or further postponing the games.

If that happens, it will be the first time since World War II, and the IOC stands to lose $1 billion in TV revenue. But perhaps even more dire, the threat of the pandemic is also looming over the Winter Olympics, now scheduled for February 2022 in Beijing.

Just briefly

Tuning in: In the latest blow to the former president’s ego, Nielsen reports that Joe Biden’s inauguration drew 39.9 million TV viewers, 1.5 million more people than tuned in to Trump inauguration four years ago, all declarations of crowd size aside.

Pink slip delivery: Grocery delivery service Instacart is laying off nearly 1,900 workers, Bloomberg reports, including the companies only unionized employees. The move drew condemnation from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents the 10 workers in Illinois.

Socialist media: In an ironic twist, capitalists are feeling the Bern and hopping on the viral meme bandwagon. Brands like Jameson, Shopify and KFC inserted the Vermont senator’s likeness into images pitching their own products (nevermind his philosophical stance on their business models).

Credit: Ad Age