CANNES - 8 HARD DAY'S NIGHTS
CB'S Heather Jacobs (left, at La Colombe d'Or last week during the CB Legendary Lunch in front of a $20m Picasso) reviews the highs and lows of a very busy week in Cannes from a journo's point of view...
THE HAVAS CAFE
Cannes was very full-on and some days were booked up from 9.30 to 2pm and it's really hard work. Really! But it was made a bit sweeter by the café set up by Havas (parent company to Euro RSCG) at the Carlton when they had really fast WiFi, coffees on tap, three course meals for lunch, views of the sea and generous servings of champagne, Rose and Evian water. It was also a great chance to eavesdrop on the deals being made except when they were in French and you couldn't understand a word they were saying. It got really busy after the first day when word spread among the journos about the free lunches. Stressed to buggery about filing before the other 855 journalists from Australia, Lynchy managed to nab us the last two seats right next to all the Havas head honchos preparing for a press conference. I was off getting coffee and Jacques Séguéla, chief creative officer and VP of Havas was hanging out with the chairman Vincent Bollore and went to sit down next to Micheal Lynch in the only spare seat and he said, "Sorry, Heather is sitting there". A Look of thunder crossed his face as he demanded to know, "And who is this Heather?" so loudly I could hear it from the bar inside and the whole place went silent. "Heather Jacobs, she works for me at Campaign Brief," said Michael innocently, looking up from editing that day's videblog. Havas must have spent 2 million Euro (no pun intended) on their cafe and the chairman couldn't even sit down.
The best lunch was the Campaign Brief Legendary Lunch at La Colombe D'or, which was the most amazing restaurant I've ever been to. It's in St Paul de Vence and used to the hangout for the impressionists and there is priceless art on the walls and gorgeous sculptures everywhere which they used to donate in exchange for lunch when they were down on their luck. Offered to write a story instead of paying my share of the bill, but the offer must have gotten lost in translation. Security is pretty minimal, but one year thieves stole the work and the local Mafia came to the rescue, making them return the art in the dead of night and then they killed them in a gruesome fashion as a public lesson, and the gate has been unlocked to this day.
The best party of the week was Norman Jay playing at the Leo Burnett party. 1200 people dancing like crazy and tickets in hot demand. I was two rows from the stage and danced for five hours straight while Kim Shaw (co-publisher with his uncle Michael of CB Asia - and my new boss) delivered champagne and vodkas and I loved every second of it. The only irritant was some creative director from an unnamed international agency who wouldn't believe that I didn't want to 'take a rest with him' a lovely euphemism the local taxi drivers use on tourists. When I held my wedding ring an inch from his face as the final not so subtle hint, he merely said, "So, I'm not asking you to marry me..." Honestly, give some of these ad guys a Gold
Lion and they think they're Bono. Two guys were walking around making a video tape of people dancing with a sock puppet so somewhere on the internet is a clip of me (if I don't make the cutting room floor) busting the moves as if I'm Madonna. If I ever see it I'll probably never dance in public again.
I couldn't get a taxi home for love nor money, but eventually bumped into Jeff Goodby, one of the stars of the industry, who said he felt like a vagrant wandering from party to party by himself. I'm sure a 1000 aspiring creatives would have accompanied him if only he'd asked. I managed to get some great goss and if I ever remember what he said, I'll tell all.
Hamish McLennan, the Aussie wunderkind now heading Y&R, flew Al Gore in to give a seminar on the advertising industry helping spread the word on global warming which was a major coup except now he has to live with jokes about his green credentials everywhere he goes. Lynchy, who had his bloody video camera on during the whole festival, door-stopped him to ask whether he flew in on a Lear Jet and whether his suite was bigger than Al Gore's, prompting the PR rep -- or was she the secret service? -- to step in declaring it was a security breach. Must say the 'SOS' campaign Y&R is launching globally is stunning.
Shame it wasn't done in time to enter into Cannes or Y&R would have been doubly lucky. Managed to get a back seat in the Auditorium after giving away my VIP sticker to a fellow journo having diligently gone to the Cannes debate because David Droga was on stage and didn't think I would make both. We're expected to be multi-media journos these days and after botching up the recording of the Saatchi & Saatchi New
Directors Showcase I played the hopeless girl line and got BMF's Richard Morgan to frame the stage perfectly so I could tape the debate for the Aussie slackers still at the CB villa party. It was a proud moment for techno-phobes everywhere when I succesfully panned across the stage, except after five seconds the memory stick ran out.
Al Gore was so charismatic I was all teary and willing to join the cause of saving the planet immediately and will buy tickets to the Live Earth concerts on 7/7/07 as soon as Visa takes the ban off my credit card after I bought a round of drinks at the Gutter Bar. Al, unfortunately, didn't inspire the organisers to cancel the $200,000
fireworks display at the end that went for 10 minutes or give the Grand Prix to a public service ad, but that's the wonderful contradictions of the world we live in today.
But what's with Jamie Packer following me around? Not content to live in the same street in Bondi, he has to hang around Cannes (looking very happy I must say) at the same time. Saw his yacht when we drive through Antibes (at least I think I did, but I'm so shortsighted I have to pretend I've seen the whales and dolphins when they're passing through) and there was lot of buzz about 'the wedding' which Rupert Murdoch flew in for and someone called Tom Cruise. The SMH's Andrew Hornery (an ex-B&T journo) is said to have broke the worldwide exclusive instilling hope in trade press journos the world over.
Now, it's back to reality and I have to pick up the phone and ring ad execs for comments rather than walking across the bar. Although, by Saturday I was so exhausted I'd have agreed to catch a Greyhound bus to Dubbo to interview someone next week rather than ask one more person, 'so, what do you think about...' For anyone still lucky to be enough to be in Europe, stay there, it's cold and raining and that's not Al Gore's fault.