Cannes Lions completes jury presidents’ lineup for 2021

International advertising awards festival Cannes Lions has confirmed its jury president lineup for the awards scheduled to take place in June 2021. (Cannes Lions)
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Updated 23 January 2021

Cannes Lions completes jury presidents’ lineup for 2021

  • “We know that after the postponement of last year’s awards, our jury presidents are eager to get going,” said Philip Thomas
  • This year, the jury president lineup is comprised of 57 percent women — the highest in the awards’ history

DUBAI: International advertising awards festival Cannes Lions has confirmed its jury president lineup for the awards scheduled to take place in June 2021.
Bozoma Saint John, global chief marketing officer at Netflix; Merlee Jayme, global president at Dentsu Mcgarrybowen; and Geoff Northcott, managing partner and chief experience officer at AKQA, complete the full line-up and join the jury presidents initially appointed for the 2020 awards.
“We know that after the postponement of last year’s awards, our jury presidents are eager to get going,” said Philip Thomas, chairman, Lions. “They will be leading juries in a unique year, awarding Lions for both 2020 and 2021 — no small job but one that will provide a crucial reflection and insight into the industry’s recent unprecedented journey.”
This year, the jury president lineup is comprised of 57 percent women — the highest in the awards’ history.
One of them, Susan Credle, global chief creative officer, FCB, who is this year’s president of the titanium jury, said: “Advertising at its creative best is one of the most powerful economic-driving, business problem-solving, culture-changing agents in the world. By celebrating the work at the Cannes lions festival, we are reminded of our potential and inspired to live into it.”
Judging will take place during the festival in June. The hope is for the judges to be physically present together but if they are unable to do so, the festival has created a remote judging experience, which was implemented at its regional awards. “It (the judging process) is a crucial part of all of our Lions awards; a human experience but also a rigorous and robust process,” said Simon Cook, managing director, Lions.
Cannes Lions is scheduled to take place from June 21-25, 2021, and will incorporate the awarding of both the 2020 and 2021 Lions.
The full list of jury presidents for 2021 is:
Titanium Lions: Susan Credle, global chief creative officer, FCB, Global
Design Lions: Pum Lefebure, chief creative officer, Design Army, US
Film Lions: Richard Brim, chief creative officer, adam&eveDDB, UK
Mobile Lions: Andrew Keller, VP, global creative director, Facebook
Outdoor Lions: Luiz Sanches, chairman, chief creative officer & partner, AlmapBBDO, Brazil
Print & Publishing Lions: Liz Taylor, global chief creative officer, Leo Burnett, and worldwide chief creative officer, Publicis Communications NA
Radio & Audio Lions: Merlee Jayme, global president, dentsu mcgarrybowen and chairman Dentsu Jayme Syfu
Digital Craft Lions: Jax Ostle-Evans, managing director, Stink Studios, UK
Film Craft Lions: Kerstin Emhoff, president, PRETTYBIRD, US
Industry Craft Lions: Jayanta Jenkins, EVP, head of marketing, Disney+, global
Entertainment Lions: Jae Goodman, CEO, Observatory (A Stagwell and CAA Company), global
Entertainment Lions for Music: Wyclef Jean, president and chief strategy officer, Carnival World Music Group, US
Entertainment Lions for Sport: Ben Hartman, chief client officer, International, Octagon
Brand Experience & Activation Lions: Vicki Maguire, chief creative officer, Havas, UK
Creative Business Transformation Lions: Geoff Northcott, global chief experience officer & managing partner, EMEA, AKQA
Creative eCommerce Lions: Tiffany Rolfe, global chief creative officer, R/GA
Glass: The Lion for Change: Bozoma Saint John, global chief marketing officer, Netflix
Sustainable Development Goals Lions: Eduardo Maruri, VP global creative board & president/CEO Europe, Grey worldwide
Health & Wellness Lions: Tom Richards, global chief creative officer, 21GRAMS
Pharma Lions: Anne de Schweinitz, global managing director, Healthcare, FleishmanHillard
Innovation Lions: Claudia Cristovao, head of Google Brand Studio, APAC
Creative Effectiveness Lions: Ann Mukherjee, chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard NA, US
Creative Data Lions: Maurice Riley, chief data officer, Digitas, Australia & New Zealand
Creative Strategy Lions: Suzanne Powers, global chief strategy officer, McCann Worldgroup
Direct Lions: Reed Collins, chief creative officer, Ogilvy, Asia
Media Lions: Philippa Brown, worldwide CEO, PHD
PR Lions: Gail Heimann, president & CEO, Weber Shandwick
Social & Influencer Lions: Debbi Vandeven, global chief creative officer, VMLY&R

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India unveils tougher rules for social media such as Facebook, Twitter

Updated 25 February 2021

India unveils tougher rules for social media such as Facebook, Twitter

  • The rules come after Twitter ignored orders to drop content on farmers’ protests
  • A detailed version of the guidelines is to be published later and take effect three months after that

NEW DELHI: India announced new rules on Thursday to regulate big social media firms, such as Facebook and Twitter, the latest effort by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to tighten control over Big Tech firms.
The rules come after Twitter ignored orders to drop content on farmers’ protests, fueling the government’s zeal, dating from 2018, to clamp down on material it regards as disinformation or unlawful.
The new measures will require big social media companies to set up a grievance redressal mechanism and appoint executives to coordinate with law enforcement, the government said in a news statement.
The government said the guidelines in its code of digital media ethics were needed to hold social media and other companies accountable for misuse and abuse.
Social media firms should be “more responsible and accountable,” Ravi Shankar Prasad, the minister for information technology, told reporters in outlining the rules.
A detailed version of the guidelines is to be published later and take effect three months after that, the government said. It did not specify the date, however.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while Twitter declined to comment.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported the draft of the rules, which give companies a maximum of 36 hours to remove content after they receive a government or legal order.
Prasad also told reporters the rules would oblige the companies to reveal the originator of a message or posting when asked to do so through a legal order.
Tech firms are coming under tighter scrutiny worldwide. Facebook faced a global backlash last week from publishers and politicians after it blocked news feeds in Australia in a dispute with the government over revenue-sharing.
That prompted last-ditch changes by Australia in a law passed on Thursday to ensure Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc. pay media companies for content, a step that nations such as Britain and Canada want to follow.
India’s rules will also require video streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime to classify content into five categories based on users’ age, the government said.


Facebook bans Myanmar military accounts citing the coup

Updated 25 February 2021

Facebook bans Myanmar military accounts citing the coup

  • Pages for government offices now run by the junta remain unaffected
BANGKOK: Facebook said it has banned all remaining accounts linked to the Myanmar military on Thursday, citing the junta’s use of deadly force against anti-coup demonstrators.
The move, which takes effect immediately, applies to the military and entities controlled by the armed forces on both Facebook and Instagram.
It also bans “military-linked commercial entities” from advertising on the platforms.
“Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban,” the social media giant said in a statement.
“We believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw on Facebook and Instagram are too great,” it added, using the Myanmar name for the country’s armed forces.
The junta has steadily increased its use of force against a massive and largely peaceful civil disobedience campaign demanding Myanmar’s army leaders relinquish power.
Three anti-coup protesters have been killed in demonstrations, while a man patrolling his Yangon neighborhood against night arrests was also shot dead.
Facebook said its ban was intended to prevent Myanmar’s generals “from abusing our platform.”
The military has used Facebook to boost its claims that voter fraud marred an election last November after ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide.
Since seizing power, the junta has arrested hundreds of anti-coup protesters, ordered nightly Internet blackouts and banned social media platforms — including Facebook — in an effort to quell resistance.
Thursday’s announcement follows Facebook’s earlier decision to kick off a page run by the regime’s “True News” information service after the tech giant accused it of inciting violence.
Pages for government offices now run by the junta remain unaffected.
“This ban does not cover government ministries and agencies engaged in the provision of essential public services,” the company said. “This includes the Ministry of Health and Sport, and the Ministry of Education.”
In recent years, hundreds of army-linked pages have been blocked by Facebook after the social media giant came under heavy criticism for its ineffective response to malicious posts in the country.
Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing and other top brass were booted from the platform in 2018, a year after a military-led crackdown forced around 750,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim community to flee into neighboring Bangladesh.
Facebook admitted that year it had failed to do enough to prevent the incitement of violence in Myanmar.
“We can and should do more,” Facebook executive Alex Warofka said at the time.

Australian lawmakers expected to pass amendments to Facebook, Google law

Updated 24 February 2021

Australian lawmakers expected to pass amendments to Facebook, Google law

  • Amendments introduced to the so-called Media Bargaining Code after Facebook last week escalated a dispute
  • The code was designed to address a power imbalance between the social media giants and publishers

CANBERRA: Australian lawmakers are expected to approve amendments to landmark legislation to force Facebook and Alphabet’s Google to pay media companies for news content, despite opposition from some minor political parties.
The government introduced amendments to the so-called Media Bargaining Code after Facebook last week escalated a dispute over the new laws by blocking Australian users from sharing and viewing news content on its popular social media platform.
Australia’s Senate began debating the amendments on Wednesday. The ruling conservative Liberal Party does not have a majority in the upper house, but support from the opposition Labour Party is expected to be enough to pass the bill.
“What we’ve sworn to do is create a level playing field,” Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Sky News on Wednesday.
“We’ve sought to sustain public interest journalism in this country, and we’ve also sought to enhance and encourage those commercial deals between the parties.”
Facebook on Tuesday said it would restore Australian users’ access to news in light of the compromise it had reached with the government.
In one major change, Frydenberg will be given the discretion to decide that either Facebook or Google need not be subject to the code, if they make a “significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry.”
The original legislation had required the tech giants to submit to forced arbitration if they could not reach a commercial deal with Australian news companies for their content, effectively allowing the government to set a price.
Some politicians and media companies are concerned the change allows Frydenberg to exempt Facebook or Google from the new laws even if they do not strike deals with all media companies, to the detriment of smaller publishers.
“This changes the bill significantly,” independent senator Rex Patrick, who plans to vote against the amended bill, told Reuters.
“The big players could successfully negotiate with Facebook or Google. The minister then doesn’t designate them, and all the little players miss out.”
Lee O’Connor, owner and editor of regional newspaper The Coonamble Times, said the amendments appeared to favor big media groups.
“It’s the vagueness of the language that’s the main concern, and the minister’s discretion is part of that,” O’Connor said.
Frydenberg has said he will give Facebook and Google time to strike deals with Australian media companies before deciding whether to enforce his new powers.
The code was designed by the government and competition regulator to address a power imbalance between the social media giants and publishers when negotiating payment for news content displayed on the tech firms’ sites.
After first threatening to withdraw its search engine from Australia, Google has instead struck a series of deals with several publishers, including a global news deal with News Corp.
Major television broadcaster and newspaper publisher Seven West Media on Tuesday said it had signed a letter of intent to reach a content supply deal with Facebook within 60 days.
Rival Nine Entertainment Co. also revealed on Wednesday it was in negotiations with Facebook.
“At this stage, we’re still obviously proceeding with negotiations,” Nine chief executive Hugh Marks told analysts at a company briefing on Wednesday. “It is really positive for our business and positive particularly for the publishing business.”


Australia says Facebook will lift its Australian news ban

Australia’s government announced on Tuesday that Facebook has agreed to lift its ban on Australians sharing news after a deal was struck on legislation that would make digital giants pay for journalism. (File/Reuters)
Updated 23 February 2021

Australia says Facebook will lift its Australian news ban

  • Facebook blocked Australian users from accessing and sharing news after the House of Representatives passed the draft law late Wednesday last week

CANBERRA: Australia’s government announced on Tuesday that Facebook has agreed to lift its ban on Australians sharing news after a deal was struck on legislation that would make digital giants pay for journalism.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook confirmed in statements that they had reached agreement on amendments to proposed legislation that would make the social network and Google pay for news that they feature.
Facebook blocked Australian users from accessing and sharing news after the House of Representatives passed the draft law late Wednesday last week.
The Senate will debate amended legislation on Tuesday.
“The government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days,” Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a statement.


Malaysian news site hit with massive fine amid press freedom fears

Malaysiakini’s editor-in-chief Steven Gan, above, has criticized the decision as ‘uncalled for.’ (AFP)
Updated 20 February 2021

Malaysian news site hit with massive fine amid press freedom fears

  • Malaysiakini made a name for itself by reporting on the misdeeds of the ruling elite
  • Malaysiakini is one of the country’s leading current affairs websites

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian media and rights advocates are warning of a crackdown on press freedom after a Federal Court on Friday ruled that news portal Malaysiakini was guilty of contempt for publishing readers’ comments critical of the judiciary on its website last year.

Although the comments were removed by Malaysiakini, the country’s attorney general in June filed charges against the portal and its editor-in-chief, Steven Gan.

The Federal Court ruled that Malaysiakini was liable for third-party comments and fined it 500,000 ringgits ($124,000), which must be paid next week. The editor-in-chief escaped a sentence as the court said no evidence was found that he had facilitated the publication of critical comments.

Afterwards Gan said that the verdict “will have a tremendous impact on discussions of issues of public interest,” adding that it was a blow to Malaysiakini’s campaign against corruption.

“I am terribly disappointed. What crime has Malaysiakini committed that we are forced to pay RM500,000 when there are individuals charged with abuse of power for millions and billions who are walking free?” he told reporters.

Malaysiakini was co-founded by Gan in 1999 as the region’s first online daily news site and became popular for its blunt reporting.

The court’s decision comes amid increasing concerns over a crackdown on media under Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration, which took power in March last year.

“Media operations in Malaysia are more controlled and restricted than ever — all since the change of government last year,” the Malaysian Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) said in a statement after the verdict.

“The decision against Malaysiakini also raises the possibility that online news portals may remove their respective comments sections to reduce the liability against third-party comments,” Wathshlah Naidu, CIJ executive director, said.

Readers also will lose the chance to voice dissenting or alternative positions on issues of public interest, she added.

“This challenges our constitutionally protected freedoms of expression and speech, which underpins and facilitates public participation and a healthy democracy,” Naidu said.

Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm), a coalition of media practitioners and supporters of press freedom, said the decision to hold Malaysiakini responsible for readers’ comments “will have a serious negative effect on press freedom and freedom of expression.”

“The decision made by the apex court will cast a negative light on the fight for press freedom in the country in the age when the media have to play an active role in order to carry out their duties of checks and balances.”

Zikri Kamarulzaman, a senior Malaysiakini journalist, said that he had expected a guilty verdict but not the hefty fine.

“We’ve faced many obstacles and threats over the years, but my heart sank when I read the message that we were being slapped with a RM500,000 fine,” he told Arab News.

The ruling will have serious ramifications for media freedom in the country, he said.

“News portals now will have to heavily regulate the comments section, and this may even lead some to disable comments entirely because moderating comments is a tedious and daunting task.”

He added: “Are the admins of a Facebook page now responsible for the comments on their posts and if the admin is posting contemptuous remarks, is it then Facebook’s responsibility to delete it?“

Foreign diplomats, including British High Commissioner Charles Hay and acting Canadian High Commissioner Esther Van Nes, also expressed concern over the ruling.

“Media freedom is of fundamental importance to the security, prosperity and well being of all societies. People must be allowed to discuss and debate issues freely,” they said in a joint statement shared on social media.

A similar response to the court decision came from the US Embassy.

“Freedom of expression, including for members of the press and the general public, is fundamental for the public discourse and the democratic principles that support accountability and good governance,” the embassy said in a statement.