Fatboy Slim and Rob Mayhew join marketers in breaking down Cannes’ “exclusive club”

DJ and influencer donate 1% of all Cannes Lions earnings to support the #CannesForAll initiative alongside brands and agencies to bring more diverse talent to Cannes.

DJ Fatboy Slim and TikTok influencer Rob Mayhew will be donating 1% of their Cannes Lions earnings to the #CannesForAll initiative, a collaboration between The Digilearning Foundation, Brixton Finishing School and Lollipop Mentoring, to bring talent from under-represented backgrounds to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this June.

Channel Factory, Google, Kantar, Freewheel, The Social Element, TikTok, Teads, The Trade Desk, Wavemaker, WPP and VaynerMedia are among the performance marketing organisations that are encouraging diverse talent in the industry to address the lack of representation across both brand and media.  

The #CannesForAll campaign, which launched in January 2023, aims to make the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity a more inclusive place by supporting emerging, diverse talent on the ground. It has called on senior leaders in the creative industry to take action and pledge 1% or more of their 2023 Cannes Lions activation budgets to support the cause.

“Cannes is an exclusive club for future leaders,” said Ally Owen, Founder of Brixton Finishing School. “It’s not enough for us to build an equitable highway into the industry – we need to create equitable opportunities to rise when you arrive.” 

The Digilearning Foundation, Brixton Finishing School and Lollipop Mentoring will each bring four of their current programme participants or alumni to Cannes. 

Digilearning’s students will also be joined by an apprentice from the Marketing Academy Foundation charity which has a placement at Amazon. The cohort will attend the festival and experience exclusive content creation for brands. Google has also sponsored two Google Career Certificate graduates from its Digital Marketing and E-commerce course to join the cohort.

“Money is replaceable, but culture and people’s lives aren’t”

Fatboy Slim, AKA Norman Cook, commented: “We need to see more young talent from all walks of life. Digilearning and projects like #CannesForAll are a must. It’s great to see Digilearning spreading the love and teaming up with other non-profits and charities to create these types of career opportunities for everyone – it is the only way forward. Businesses, you are losing out on some of the best talent to walk the Earth, so get involved! As I have said before, money is replaceable, but culture and people’s lives aren’t, which is why I am proud to support Digilearning and #CannesForAll.”

Rob Mayhew, comedian, influencer and Creative Director, added: "Every year it gets harder for young people to break into the advertising industry. Creativity comes from all walks of life. If everyone in your agency looks and speaks like you, then your work will suffer." 

Owen thanked those that have already donated to #CannesForAll. Among them: Accenture Song, AmazingIf, Channel Factory, Clear Channel, Creature London, Google, Kantar, Mail Metro Media, Major Players, Merlin Entertainments, Freewheel, The Social Element, TikTok, Teads, The Trade Desk, Trainline, Twitch, Video Week, Wavemaker, WPP, VaynerMedia, and Cannes Lions.

Lollipop Mentoring founder Maria McDowell said: “Attending Cannes for the first time last year was a transformative experience. Cannes had always felt like an unattainable dream for someone like me. But it's time for that perception to change. I want to express my gratitude to all those who recognise the importance of change and to the incredible individual donors who have made it possible. Their support highlights the profound significance of representation and equity. Together, we can make a difference”.