Web Companies at Cannes: Wither AOL?

  |  June 25, 2009   |  Comments

All the major Web companies have a presence, however reduced, at the Cannes Lions festival this year

Yahoo's beach clubAll the major Web companies have a presence, however reduced, at the Cannes Lions festival this year. All except one that is.

By far the most visible of the Internet giants is premier sponsor Microsoft. There's a Microsoft lounge, Microsoft-sponsored sessions, a Microsoft beach club, two Microsoft Surface tables, and a big flippin' Microsoft sign plastered onto the front of the Palais. As if that all weren't enough, Steve Ballmer won Media Person of the Year last night.

Google is here too. A YouTube cocktail bar on the lower level is giving away watermelon zingers and smoothies. There's also a YouTube booth of sorts, near much of the mounted work. Google's Eric Schmidt will be here Friday.

Yahoo's approach is perhaps most unique, if scaled back from previous years. The company is giving away branded flip-flops from a Yahoo Loves Creatives" truck that's been puttering up and down La Croisette all week, and it hosted a beach luncheon this afternoon.

AOL is the one Web media heavy-hitter that appears not to be in Cannes at all. No one ClickZ spoke with had seen hide nor hair of the company or its execs. That's perhaps understandable in light of the upheaval at the soon to be spun-off Time Warner unit. Yet at a time when AOL is eager to revamp its image with the ad community, skipping this party seems like a missed opportunity.


Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

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