China Will Not Send Delegates to Cannes Lions

The China Advertising Association will withdraw a planned delegation of 90 people from the 2003 International Cannes Advertising Festival in the French city of Cannes.

Announced yesterday, the decision by the Chinese organization is meant to reassure international delegates attending the 50th festival, also known as the Cannes Lions over the disease Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The French authorities are also undertaking several measures to prevent the incidence of SARS at the advertising extravaganza.

“In order to effectively prevent SARS from spreading to other countries, the Chinese government has stipulated that all official activities to go abroad are paused,” Shi Xuezhi, secretary general of the Chinese ad body, said in a letter sent May 15 to the organizers of the Cannes Lions.

In other related Cannes Lions news, the festival this year will inaugurate a new Titanium Lion award as part of its golden jubilee celebrations.

The award will be presented annually to work in any category or combination of categories that “causes the industry to stop in its tracks and reconsider the way forward,” a statement said. It will honor innovation in design, thinking, execution or sensibility as well as the development of new forms of communication or the interrelationship between existing ones.

The award will be presented June 21.

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