If you think you've experienced or witnessed sexual harassment and want to talk to someone confidentially, contact NABS:

0800 707 6607 between 9am - 5.30pm

Celebrating Safely
at Cannes

We want everyone to have a safe, creative and enjoyable experience in Cannes, one that is free from sexual harassment.

Our aim is to unite everyone attending or participating in the festival to collectively address sexual harassment, and any form of harassment, that exists within our industry, placinge an emphasis on wellbeing and promotinge a culture of respect and accountability.

Sexual harassment is a shared responsibility, not the burden of those who have been harassed. Whether it’s in an office, online, at a client meeting or at an industry event or festival, such as Cannes Lions, no one should have to work in an environment which breeds, or allows, unwanted sexual attention, behaviour, or the abuse of power.

Cannes Lions Festival is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the most remarkable creative work that our industry has to offer, it is also an opportunity to ensure that no-one’s fun comes at the expense of anyone else.

This guide has been created in the UK by timeTo, the industry initiative to end sexual harassment, and Cannes Lions and is rooted in UK law. However there is helpful and applicable advice for everyone attending Cannes Lions from across the global creative communications community. This is for guidance only and should not be used as a substitute for specific legal advice.

What is timeTo?

timeTo is the campaign to end sexual harassment in the UK advertising, media and marketing industry. It was established in 2018 by the Advertising Association, NABS and WACL and is backed by the IPA and ISBA. They provide expert guidance, support and education to individuals and organisations to help everyone understand the impact of sexual harassment and play their part in preventing it.

What is sexual harassment?

The Equality Act 2010 defines sexual harassment as unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, which has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a worker, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. The crucial word in the definition is ‘unwanted’.

Examples include:

  • Sexual comments about appearance or body parts
  • Promises in return for sexual favours
  • Asking questions about someone’s sex life
  • Inviting someone back to your hotel room, unsolicited
  • Sharing sexually inappropriate images
  • Persistent, unsolicited communication on work or personal messaging apps

For more examples, see page 5 of the timeTo code of conduct.

Cannes timeTo Guide for All

Addressing sexual harassment requires an ongoing commitment and effort. By all of us taking responsibility for our actions, committing to change, and actively working towards creating a culture of respect and accountability, we can each play a positive role in preventing harassment and promoting safer and more inclusive environments.

Before Cannes
During Cannes
After Cannes

Employers section

As an employer, it’s your legal duty to safeguard the health, safety, and wellbeing of your employees. This includes taking reasonable steps to prevent and address any instances of sexual harassment. Implementing policies, procedures, and measures to prevent sexual harassment is essential. Additionally, it’s crucial to respond promptly and appropriately to any reports of workplace sexual harassment, following internal policies and protocols.

You should also be aware that in October 2024, The Worker Protection Act 2023 (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) will come into force in the UK. It will introduce a new duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of their employees. Employers now have a new obligation to be proactive in tackling sexual harassment; and employment tribunals will have the power to uplift sexual harassment compensation by up to 25% where an employer is found to have breached this new duty – this uplift could be significant, especially as compensation awarded in the most serious cases of sexual harassment can exceed £50,000.

Despite events such as Cannes Lions Festival taking place outside the UK, if the employment terms relate to the UK law, then any complaint relating to sexual harassment would be actionable in the UK and fall within the scope of The Equality Act. It is also important to note that acts of sexual harassment can result not just in liability for the employer but also in personal liability for the offending individual.

If any complaints could be considered criminal, including sexual assault and rape, French jurisdiction and local law would be relevant.

According to Gov.uk the sentences for rape and sexual assault vary greatly, depending partly on the age of the victim and their connection to the perpetrator. The judge can pass down a sentence of between 15 to 30 years for rape, and 5 to 7 years and up to €100,000 euros fine for sexual assault.

Before Cannes
During Cannes
After Cannes

Signposting for those affected by sexual harassment

Cannes Lions Festival

Staying safe at Cannes Lions, top tips for navigating the festival

Code of conduct, how to ensure every Cannes Lions delegate has the best Festival possible

Inclusivity & Accessibility at Cannes Lions Festival 2024, working on making the Festival accessible to everyone

Wellbeing spaces at the festival

WACL Empower Cafe is located at L’Avenue a stone’s throw away from the Palais. Although the space is focused on women, all genders are welcome.

Mindful Space is open between midday 18th June and 5pm on 20th June on Rue Edith Cavell, hosting an alcohol and device free zone to disconnect and recharge, in partnership with the Kinsman Agency. Come visit @mindful_space inside the IHG Staybridge Suites Hotel. There will be CBD drinks, meditation and breath work practices on offer, as well as counselling, and more. Timings and registration.

Emergency contacts and hospital locations:


Police, Ambulance, and Coastguard


In the case of sexual assault or rape, you may want to take one of the following steps. It is the choice of the person who has been affected if they want to report the incident:

  • Contact the international emergency number on 112
  • Contact their tour operator if they are travelling with one
  • If they’re from outside the UK, find and contact their nearest embassy.
  • If they’re from the UK, contact their nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate on 00 33 114 513 100. Embassy staff will be empathetic, and non-judgmental, and can provide information on local police and medical procedures. Anything you tell them will be treated in the strictest confidence. They can contact the family or friends of the person affected if they wish.

If they wish to report the crime, try and encourage them to do so as quickly as possible, to retain forensic evidence.

Information for victims of rape and sexual assault in France

Advice for British nationals from the UK government: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/france-information-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault/france-information-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault

Advice for all foreign nationals from the French government: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F33891?lang=en

UK support lines and sites
This guide was co-created by:
  • In partnership with
  • Advertising Association logo
  • NABS logo
  • WACL logo