Cannes festival in dispute with mayor Brochand

The organisers of the Cannes festival are threatening to move the

annual advertising beanfeast to Barcelona because of a dispute with the

host town's officials.



The International Advertising Festival will not say what the row is

about.



"We are still in discussions and we will make an announcement within the

next ten days," the festival's spokeswoman, Amanda Benfell, said.



The dispute, the latest in what has often been a combative relationship

between the organisers and the host resort, is understood to centre on

the wish of Bernard Brochand, Cannes' newly elected mayor, to

renegotiate the festival's contract.



Brochand, who is also DDB Worldwide's vice-chairman, has outraged the

festival's organisers over his pledge to appease the town's elderly

residents by making the festival pay even more for the amenities. He is

also facing criticism in the French press for his actions.



The dispute takes place against a background of disquiet among agencies

over the escalating costs of the Cannes festival. However, many believe

the threat to up sticks is a negotiating ploy.



"Moving the festival to Barcelona would seriously jeopardise its

future," a former festival insider said. "Despite all the ups and downs

there's nothing like Cannes."



Although Barcelona is seen as a cosmopolitan city with excellent

conference facilities and a vibrant nightlife, ad festival regulars say

it lacks Cannes' compactness and predict that registration numbers would

drop severely.



Gerry Moira, the creative director of Publicis, said: "Cannes may have

the perfect infrastructure for the festival but it's an old tart of a

town."



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