Will Cannes Glass Lion award shatter gender bias?

The ad world’s highest-regarded awards festival is finally taking responsibility for advertising’s objectification of women – even better, they’re doing something about it.

The Cannes Lions Festival recently unveiled a new award for the 2015 competition called, The Glass Lion: The Lion for Change award, which pays tribute to “work that challenges gender bias and shatters stereotypical images of men and women,” according to recent Cannes press.

“We are humbled to be described as a global benchmark for creative excellence,” said Lions Festivals CEO Philip Thomas. “Creativity has the power to change culture, and the wider world, in a deeply positive way. So, rewarding creative work that fights to address the (mis)representation of gender in marketing communication is something we hope will lead to real change across the industry and society.”

The announcement comes just two weeks after a creative team from DDB Sydney pitched an award idea called The Cannes Lioness, designed to reward ads that changed the culture of objectifying women to sell product. Cannes had responded favourably to the team’s concept, while hinting there was another “big idea” in progress through Cannes Lions and others within the industry. Evidently, The Glass Lion was that brainchild, which will be offered in place of The Lioness award.

We find it very encouraging that ad folks of both genders and all career stages are “officially” standing up to fight for an important cause. Creativity can change culture – and if a prestigious award is what it takes to transform the sexist attitudes of advertisers and society, we’re all for it.

Do you think The Glass Lion will make a difference? We’d love to hear your thoughts.