Young Marketers Work to End Child Illiteracy with Global Nonprofit Room to Read at Cannes Lions Festival

Young Marketers Work to End Child Illiteracy with Global Nonprofit Room to Read at Cannes Lions Festival


Alicia Stetzer


[email protected]

CANNES, France, June 17, 2019 – The Young Marketer Lions Competition kicked off today at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, with 26 teams of young in-house marketers from around the world competing in a 48-hour competition in support of global nonprofit organization Room to Read.

This year’s creative brief will focus on helping Room to Read raise visibility and drive action to help end child illiteracy – something the charity says is achievable in our lifetime.

“Room to Read has been successfully transforming the lives of children around the world since our inception in 2000, and we have benefitted more than 16.8 million children to date. But there is so much more to do, with 250 million children around the world not learning,” commented Dr. Geetha Murali, CEO of Room to Read. We have data-backed proof that our programs work and want to raise awareness of the positive changes that occur when children have a quality education.”

Murali continued: “Research and our 19 years of experience show that education has so many benefits — from reducing poverty to improving health outcomes. There also are positive environmental impacts that stem from education due to increased knowledge and better decision-making. As such, we know that education is key to making the world a better place. In working with the brightest young marketing minds at the Cannes Lions Festival, we plan to identify and implement new creative solutions that will help draw attention to our mission and transform children’s lives as well as the world at large.”

The 26 teams of two, selected by local representatives in their respective countries, will have 24 hours to develop a creative campaign based on Room to Read’s creative brief, before presenting their ideas to a panel of judges. This year’s jury is led by Hilary McKean, partner and president, marketing and complementary businesses, at Ketchum, and also includes Rita Gorenberg, associate director of brand engagement at The Clorox Company, and Manuela Muñoz, corporate communications manager for Netflix in Latin America.

This is the 10th year the Young Marketer Lions Competition has taken place at Cannes, and the ninth consecutive year communications consultancy Ketchum has been its sponsor.

Speaking of the sponsorship and her role as head juror for the competition, McKean commented, “Ketchum has always believed in supporting the best young talent in our industry, and this is an incredible opportunity for these young marketers to demonstrate their creative abilities while providing concrete solutions to an NGO that can make a real difference. Ketchum has been a long-term partner of Room to Read, and I’m incredibly excited to see what the competitors will deliver to help Room to Read’s mission of ending child illiteracy.”

Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners will be announced on the Work and Awards Hub Stage on Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m. CET, and the Gold award winners will receive trophies during the mainstage awards ceremony on Thursday, June 20.

Note to Editors:
Competitor countries are: Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Hungary, India, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Vietnam.

About Ketchum:
Ketchum is a leading global communications consultancy with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. PRWeek’s Best Agency of the Past 20 Years, Ketchum is the winner of 76 Cannes Lions and an unprecedented six PRWeek Campaign of the Year Awards. Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, game-changing creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations. For more information on Ketchum, a part of Omnicom Public Relations Group, visit

About Omnicom Public Relations Group:
Omnicom Public Relations Group is a global collective of three of the top global public relations agencies worldwide and specialist agencies in areas including public affairs, marketing to women, global health strategy and corporate social responsibility. It encompasses more than 6,300 public relations professionals in more than 370 offices worldwide who provide their expertise to companies, government agencies, NGOs and nonprofits across a wide range of industries. Omnicom Public Relations Group delivers for clients through a relentless focus on talent, continuous pursuit of innovation and a culture steeped in collaboration. Omnicom Public Relations Group is part of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) that includes more than 200 companies in a wide range of marketing disciplines including advertising, public relations, healthcare, customer relationship management, events, promotional marketing, branding and research.