We are pleased to announce the ambassadors for the Cannes Grey Lions! Each one an award-winning and well known industry professional keen on tackling the age profile of the Irish advertising workforce and using their voice to speak out about ageism in the industry.

Nearly half (47%) of people working in Irish advertising agencies are under 30 (last year the figure was 43%) so we are on a mission to change that and champion the power of age in the advertising and media industries.

The Cannes Grey Lions Ambassadors are:

  • Gai Griffin, Creative Director & Copywriter
  • Mark Nutley, Creative Partner, Goosebump
  • Katy Egan, Copywriter & Content Creator
  • Sean Hynes, Creative Director, Bonfire
  • Wendy Williams, Director of Design, Snapfile Ltd.
Meet the Ambassadors
Meet the Ambassadors
Gai Griffin
Gai Griffin
Creative Director & Copywriter
Mark Nutley
Mark Nutley
Creative Partner, Goosebump
Katy Egan
Katy Egan
Copywriter & Content Creator
Sean Hynes
Sean Hynes
Creative Director, Bonfire
Wendy Williams
Wendy Williams
Director of Design, Snapfile Ltd.
Gai Griffin
Gai Griffin

Ageism goes both ways.

We don’t do ourselves any favours when we mock millennials or make little of people who are older.

The truth is, we are never too green or too grey to have a brilliant idea.

And creativity flourishes when we are all too excited and enthusiastic about making great work to notice one another’s gender, race, sexual orientation or hair colour.

Mark Nutley
Mark Nutley

Don’t apologise for your age, for your experience, for the fact that you’ve lived and have made decisions and mistakes. Don’t apologise for not being a digital native. You managed to programme a VHS machine to record Glenroe while you were on holidays, HTML is a doddle. Don’t apologise for having better, more informed ideas now, than you did when you were 24.

IAPI, in introducing the Cannes Grey Lions, is taking a really important step to combat the ageism in our industry. I’m proud to be part of it. Diversity is a major, defining business issue of our age, and age is a major part of it. We are willfully undermining our industry by not valuing experience.

Katy Egan
Katy Egan

Thinking about thirty something years working across a range of agencies (most of which don’t exist anymore) brings me back to a time when it was fine to advertise cigarettes, but you couldn’t mention periods. The internet was a thing of the future and the fax machine was the latest in technology.

A lot of coffee got drunk (as did the creative department over those infamous long lunches), and even though we had more time we definitely made a lot fewer ads.

Thing is, although the landscape has changed immeasurably, the one thing that hasn’t is the buzz you get from using creativity to solve your clients’ problems. Like they say, it beats having a real job.

Sean Hynes
Sean Hynes

We miss you.

I believe the industry is beginning to show signs of missing your creativity. Your instinctive ideas. Your emotional ideas. Your simple ideas drawn on a blank sketch pad. Ideas created when no one was watching and no one was documenting. It was just a good idea or not. It had nowhere to hide. You learned your craft when the idea came first, not necessarily how it was delivered.

And that’s how good you are, whether you’re still part of the industry or not.

The Cannes Grey Lions initiative by IAPI is a great idea. And it's a great opportunity to prove the invaluable worth of experienced creatives to our industry. It would be a great idea to take part.

Wendy Williams
Wendy Williams

When you’ve been around the houses a few times, that’s when you really hit your stride. You can lift your head, see further without stumbling and stretch your legs. The seductions of creative cul-de-sacs are easier to spot and more importantly, you know when you need to change gear and round the block again before the line.

It goes without saying that creative communication has nothing to do with age, but it can be hugely enhanced with experience. The running gear might be different, but hi-tech fabrics and swanky shoes won’t compensate for two left feet, at any age.

Register to Enter
Register to Enter

The Cannes Grey Lions is open to Irish industry professionals over the age of 50.

Participants will be given a brief on Friday 27th September to create a campaign for a to-be-announced charity and pitch it to a panel of judges the following Monday.

The winners will go on an all-expenses paid trip to next year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, generously sponsored by Standard Life.

REGISTER TO ENTER HERE.