John Cleese and Richard Curtis join Festival of Marketing line up

The agenda for the Festival of Marketing: The Year Ahead features sessions celebrating success, sharing best practice and offering actionable insight to help marketers thrive in 2021 and beyond.

Comedian and actor John Cleese and writer and director Richard Curtis will be speaking at this year’s Festival of Marketing: The Year Ahead, which takes place on 18 to 21 October.

Cleese will be discussing why creativity is a skill that can be learned, crafted and developed. Meanwhile Curtis, who also founded Red Nose Day, will be speaking alongside Karmarama CEO and managing director Ben Bilboul, about what brands such as Unilever, Google, Reckitt and Mars are doing ahead of the UN Sustainable Development Goals deadline.

Elsewhere, Boots CMO Pete Markey and his CFO Michael Snape will be discussing how marketing and finance can work together more effectively.

Meanwhile, Nationwide’s Sara Bennison and Diageo’s Mark Sandys will be talking on a panel hosted by Marketing Week editor-in-chief Russell Parsons, looking at whether marketers are afraid of embracing capitalism in the age of purpose-driven marketing and why some seem more concerned with behaviour change than consumption.

Other speakers include Sir John Hegarty who will be banishing buzzwords and bad practice into the Marketing Room 101. He will be joined on this session, which will also feature a live Q&A, by Aviva’s former group brand director, Jan Gooding, who is now a coach at Kiloran Bay and Andrew Tenzer, director of market insight and brand strategy at Reach.

Also on the agenda is Mini MBA founder and Marketing Week columnist, Professor Mark Ritson. In his own inimitable style, Ritson will be exploring how small businesses can land massive brand results despite lower budgets and resources.

He is joined on the Festival of Marketing agenda by fellow Marketing Week columnist and founder of Passionbrand, Helen Edwards. Urging marketers to move ‘forwards not sideways’, Edwards hopes to help marketers keep their ambitions high and achieve breakthrough innovation.

Actor and comedian Eddie Izzard will also be sharing her story on how she turned comedy into storytelling. The session will cover her amazing feat of running 27 marathons in 27 days, as well as discussing her feeling of being trapped in the wrong body since the age of four.

This year’s Festival of Marketing takes place on 18 to 21 October. We will be covering everything from powering growth and trends, to customer delivery, creativity and collaboration, with a stellar line-up of speakers. Visit the website for more information and to buy your pass.

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