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Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton


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Trendsetters: President Bill Clinton Tells Ad Industry at Cannes they have Power to Solve World Problems

In an address to a crowd that filled every seat at Cannes' huge Palais du Festival, the 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, urged the advertising industry to use its extraordinary power of communications to help the world better understand and ultimately solve some of its most complex problems. Bill Clinton participated in last week's Cannes Ad Festival, which attracted a record number of nearly 12,000 advertising executives from around the world, at the invitation of Brazilian industry notable, Nizan Guanaes, to mark the 10th Anniversary of his marketing services company, Grupo ABC.

Guanaes, celebrated as one of the top 100 creative people in the business world, has been involved with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which the President founded in 2005 as a non-partisan organization to inspire global leaders to find solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. The mission of Grupo ABC, of which Nizan Guanaes serves as Chairman, is to be one of the world's most relevant communication groups, but with a Brazilian sensibility and headquartered in Sao Paulo. The group has more than150 clients and is comprised 15 companies, including such agencies as DM9DDB, Africa, MPM, Loducca, Pereira & O'Dell and Dojo.

The former President outlined the many challenges affecting the world's future—including enormous financial, environmental and political problems from climate change to the European economic crisis to warring Democrats and Republicans in the US. Clinton also touched on the "disinformation" that was linked to many such issues. He encouraged the audience by saying, "You can have a major impact by telling what the facts are. There is an enormous amount of misinformation, inappropriate emphasis, and focus on the trivial and the fleeting."

"A lot of the facts that will form the trend lines of the future are not apparent to people. Explain what the issue is, then give an idea of how to do something about it. The power of example matters. The communicators will have a profound influence on how the next 20-30 years will turn out."

He added to the enthusiastic Cannes crowd, "What people need is honest, synthesized communication. And I can't think of any other group of people more likely to make it happen than you. We need people like you to fire our imagination and fill our brains as well as our hearts. You know how to overcome people's inherent resistance to hearing a set of facts they hadn't imagined were true, yet are."

According to Bill Clinton, "We live in the most interdependent age in human history--whether for good or bad. Interdependent means that borders look like nets, not walls. Divorce not an option." He underscored how the power of collaboration and diversity are among the best tools to solve the biggest problems.