Phil Thomas, CEO of Ascential Events and Chairman of Cannes Lions + Mike Cooper, CEO of PHD Worldwide
In this episode, we hear Phil and Mike talk about the challenges they face to evolve their services. Phil explains how this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is changing to meet the call from brands and agencies for a simplified awards structure and value for money. Mike talks about the need for media agencies to stay on top of constant technological change, why the threat from consultancies is overblown and why agencies current use of data resembles teenage sex. Phil and Mike ponder the lessons learnt from signing off staff ‘car parking’ expenses and over-promising a client on the availability of 70s TV icon Denis Norden to front a campaign. Finally, we all learn if Tim Berners-Lee like to party or prefers a mug of hot cocoa.
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About the guests:
Phil Thomas is CEO of Ascential Events and chairman of Cannes Lions, the International Festival of Creativity. He oversees Cannes Lions, Money2020, and a diverse portfolio of award-winning international B2B events and trade exhibitions.
He began his career as a journalist, working on national and international magazines and newspapers, and editing Empire, the UK’s biggest-selling movie magazine, before moving into publishing and becoming Managing Director of FHM worldwide, launching the iconic men’s magazine in more than 30 countries. He was appointed Managing Director of Emap’s Australian and South East Asian division, based in Sydney for three years, before returning to the UK, and in November 2006 was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Lions Festivals. Philip began his current role when Ascential Events was established in August 2016. He remains CEO of Cannes Lions.
Mike Cooper is CEO of PHD Worldwide and responsible for growing the Omnicom-owned network, which today has over 80 offices in 69 countries. Mike started working in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi in London in 1984 before moving to Hong Kong in 1989 to work as media director. By 1993 he oversaw North Asia for Saatchi’s.
He joined Omnicom in 1997 as OMD’s first employee to set up the network in Asia-Pacific. As CEO for OMD Asia Pacific he grew the network to 26 offices and in 2005 he launched PHD across the Asia Pacific region, leading to him being named Media Magazine’s ‘Regional Agency Head of the Year for Asia’. Mike’s appointment to Worldwide CEO in 2007 saw him return to London, where the PHD network’s HQ is based. PHD manages clients such as VW Group, Unilever, GSK, SAP, Ferrero, Bayer, SC Johnson and Google amongst others.