That this marks my 10th consecutive year of covering Cannes feels rather fitting, because an anniversary celebrated with tin offers a neat link to the newfound whiff of parsimony that is accompanying this year’s proceedings on the Croisette. 

More: Listen to our Cannes Preview podcast here

Of course, this being Cannes, expectations should be adjusted accordingly; one adman’s humility is another civilian’s hubris. There will still be plenty of conspicuous rose consumption, rapturous receptions and vacuous sermonising about how advertising can improve people’s lives. But, if nothing else, 2018 is likely to mark the first Cannes since 2009 that has made any concessions to the era of austerity in which the real world has now taken up a kind of semi-permanent residence.
Much of that is down to belt-tightening from holding groups, responding to stock market pressure by taking an axe to the awe-inspiring sums of money that they ‘invest’ in Cannes each year. Publicis, of course, is a notable absentee of sorts, while WPP — without Sorrell in charge — is likely to cut a rather less swaggering figure on the Croisette, perhaps to everyone’s relief.  

None of the big groups, it appears, want to be seen spending too much money. Indeed, this year is likely to provide further evidence of how  Cannes itself — and the traditional notions of creativity that it represents — is being disrupted by technological forces at a time of rampant short-termism

Fret not, though, because the slack is likely to be taken up by technology giants of various stripes, along with management consultancies and independent players. It is tempting to think that Cannes has come full circle from the 2009 edition, but rather more difficult to envisage the kind of ghost-town scenario that plagued that year's event. 

2009, of course, also marked the first edition of the PR Lions. Since then, the industry has become firmly installed on the Festival agenda, even if its activities this year will be pared back in line with parent group priorities. PR firms are clearly visible in the official programme — reflecting how the public relations agenda is inseparable from creative brand-building. And, of course, there will be the usual soul-searching about the PR Lions, no doubt.

The Holmes Report will again be covering events on the ground, in partnership with several agencies and with ICCO's House of PR, which plays host to numerous sessions. You can find all of our coverage and schedule at our dedicated Cannes section here, along with our special Cannes preview podcast here.

The full schedule is available here, and so far includes the following highlights: 

Monday 18 June
10:45–11:15 — Can Behavioural Science Save Lives? Hosted by UCL Centre For Behaviour Change And Pegasus. (Healthcare Insights Stage, Palais II)
11:00–11:45 — Fire and Fury: The New Normal? Featuring Michael Wolff. (Lumière Theatre, Palais I)
15:00-15:30 — How to Win a PR Lion. (House of PR)
18:00–15:45 — Creative Women Can Change The World. Moderated by Gabriela Lungu, Wings. (Cannes Lions School, Palais II)

Tuesday 19 June
11:00–11:45 — Who Wants To Be A Human? WE Worldwide and Contagious. (Terrace Stage) 
13:00–13:45 — Fame or Fail? Promoting, Protecting and Entertaining in Untrusted Times. Hosted by Edelman. (Lumière Theatre, Palais I) 
15:30–16:00 — Can Creative Marketing Help Solve the Opioid Crisis? Hosted by Ketchum & EnergyBBDO. (Behind the Work Stage, Palais II)
16:00–16:45 — Overcoming the Bias and Barriers Blocking Workplace Creativity and Innovation. Hosted by PHD Worldwide & Ketchum. (Innovation Stage, Palais II)
16:15–17:00 — China’s Creativity: Oxymoron or Omnipotent? Hosted by Fleishman-Hillard. (Debussy Theatre, Palais I) 
16:30–17:30 — Global Women in PR Drinks Reception. (House of PR)

Wednesday 20 June
10:30–11:00 — Why Brands Should Be Entertainers. With ITV, Somethin’Else and Brit Awards. (House of PR)
11:30–12:15 — Live Podcast with Alan VanderMolen & the Holmes Report. 
(House of PR)

15:30–16:30 — I Like to Watch! New Generation Visual Stimulation with FleishmanHillard & LDH. (House of PR)
17:30–19:30 — Half Full or Half Empty? Hosted by the Holmes Report & WE Communications. (Martinez Garden Terrace, invite only.)

Thursday 21 June
10:00–10:45 — Insights with the PR Lions Jury. Moderated by the Holmes Report. (House of PR) 

13:00–13:45 — Love, Dreams, Happiness: The Japanese Model Changing Global Brands. Hosted by BlueCurrent Japan. (Lumière Theatre, Palais I)
14:45–16:00 — Answering the Demand for Integration. Hosted by Ogilvy & the Holmes Report. (MediaCom Martinez Penthouse)
17:30–18:30 — ICCO Pre-Awards Drinks Reception. (Verriere Bar, Palais) 
19:00 — PR Lions Awards Show. (Lumière Theatre, Palais I)

Friday 22 June
12:00–13:00 — Sir Martin Sorrell in Conversation with Ken Auletta. (Lumière Theatre, Palais I)
16:15–16:45 — Parkland Survivors: The Real and Raw Power of Conviction. (Debussy Theatre, Palais I)