Cannes festival instigates student training programme

The Cannes International Advertising Festival is introducing a high-level training programme for the best creative students from around the world.

The Lions Academy will be launched at this month's festival as part of the event's 50th anniversary celebrations. It will provide a one-week training and educational programme to between 20 to 30 students from different countries.

Industry figures including Michael Conrad, the former worldwide chief creative officer of Leo Burnett, and Bob Isherwood, the worldwide creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi, are involved with the Academy. Conrad will act as dean of the Academy for its first three years and Isherwood will deliver a tutorial at this year's training course.

The festival has recruited its first wave of students for the week-long programme that will run at this year's festival. Colleges, universities and other contacts of the festival put forward names of outstanding students for consideration. The Academy is focused on students aged 18 to 23 studying advertising, marketing, communications and design.

Financial backing for the students, including travel and hotel costs, will be provided by sponsors of each student. The festival is covering the costs of the educational programme.

The students will be led each year by a tutor. This year the role is filled by Clive Challis, the head of the advertising course at Central Saint Martin's in London. Other speakers at the event this year will include Joel Sobelson, the executive vice-president and chief creative officer of Wunderman, and James Warburton, the managing director of Universal McCann, Australia.

The Cannes organisers hope the Academy will be an annual event that will help improve the quality of intake into the industry.

Terry Savage, the chief executive of the festival, said: "We believe the festival has a role to play in encouraging students to pursue a career in advertising, as opposed to other disciplines, and there is no better way to see this industry in action than a week in Cannes."