Ascential, organizer of Cannes Lions, has imposed a moratorium on the submission of prizes and delegations from Russian organizations for this year's Festival of Creativity, joining a growing list of international companies opposed to the invasion of the Ukraine by Vladimir Putin.
Ascential said in a statement that it "stands with our friends in Ukraine and our many partners and community members in Russia who strongly oppose the actions of the Russian government."
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In addition to opposing Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Ascential is waiving registration fees for Ukrainian creatives - "everyone and all" - who can attend this year's event, which looks back on the Côte d'Azur from June 20 to 24.
“Refunds for awards submitted for Ukrainian agencies will also be considered,” the company said.
The organizer also said he would "act immediately" and make a "significant donation to humanitarian charities operating in the affected area".
Ascential has launched a Talent Directory on the Lions Platform for members of the war-affected creative community and calls on the global community to "appreciate and support our friends in these difficult times."
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At last year's Cannes Lions Festival, Russia had 401 entries and Ukraine had 48 entries for the work of the previous two years. This follows the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the pandemic.
Ascential's statement comes as more and more organizations - in business, media and sports - are cutting ties with Russia.
To name a few, Twitter is halting advertising in Ukraine and Russia, while Meta and YouTube are demoing state-run Russian news sites including RT.
In sports, the International Olympic Committee has banned Russian and Belarusian athletes, officials and teams from participating in the Paralympic Games; Russian clubs have been banned from all Fifa and UEFA competitions, meaning Russia's men's team will not take part in the World Cup play-offs this month; while Spartak Moscow were expelled from the Europa League.
The worlds of rugby, tennis and Formula 1 have also imposed similar bans.