Your mannes in Cannes!

Neil Hardwick, GroupM Russia CEO

Hello everyone. As you will suspect, I am not actually in Cannes as I write this. I am in London, which while all very exciting and vibrant, lacks the style, kudos, sun and, very significantly, the beach of Cannes. However, this blog has to start somewhere, so it will start here.

Over the next three weeks, I will be reporting on Cannes for Sostav. You will be able to keep up with everything happening from the comfort of your Moscow office! Also, Campaign magazine asked me to contribute to an article as the Russian person on the Jury. This was a very strange request, as whilst I am happy and even proud to call Moscow my home for the past 4 years, I cannot in anyway claim to be Russian. My language skills and my drinking skills are just not that advanced!

However, I have agreed to try to both represent Russia as best I can on the jury and also to report back to you all via this site. I will try to give you all a flavour of what work is doing well at the festival, what new trends people are talking about, which presentations and speeches are creating the most buzz and, best of all, which parties are people trying to get invitations to.

So, before I arrive in Cannes next week for 8 days in a sunless, darkened jury room, I would like to ask you all to send me your questions that you would like me to answer, your thoughts on Cannes and anything else that you think will help prepare me to best stand up for Russia during the 12 days I will be here.

And, one last thought. I remember that every 4 years Cannes has the added fun of happening during the European football championships. And, as an Englishman, I suffer every time as my team are sent home early. So, this time I will be vociferously supporting Russia. And, judging from the great form they showed against Italy, I feel far less likely to be quietly drinking to an early defeat this year and far more likely to be buying rounds of vodka shots to celebrate victory. Dear Russian football team, just get me to the semifinals, and I can leave Cannes a happy man!