Grey Presents Patti Smith in Music Seminar at Cannes

Punk Rock's Poet Laureate to Discuss Creativity, Music, Art and Award-Winning Book "Just Kids"

Jun 08, 2011, 11:29 ET from Grey

NEW YORK, June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Grey announced today that its Fifth Annual Legends of Music Seminar will feature Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Patti Smith, the American singer-songwriter, poet, author and artist, who is widely regarded as the "Godmother of Punk" on Friday, June 24th (1:45 p.m. Cannes time) at the Debussy Theater.

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The event, part of the 58th International Advertising Festival, follows several years of success for the Grey music seminar with legends Yoko Ono, who was the smash of Cannes in 2010, Little Steven Van Zandt in 2009, Tony Bennett in 2008 and Donovan and John Legend in 2007.

At Grey's annual seminar on music and its place in the creative process, Smith will talk about her fascinating life, including her early years with Robert Mapplethorpe, the subject of her recent autobiography, "Just Kids", which was a 2010 recipient of the National Book Award. Additionally, Smith will discuss her seminal musical contributions and work, her poetry and her visual artistic endeavors in what should be one of the most compelling and informative hours of the whole Cannes week.

It is hoped that she will read poetry and perform music live.

Patti Smith said, "The vision and process of the artist may be his own, but the fruits of his labors, ultimately, belong to the people.  For the definitive goal of any artist, in all mediums, is to communicate, inspire, and incite, and an open line with the people he serves is his greatest reward."

Patti Smith will be interviewed by Tim Mellors, Vice Chairman and Worldwide Chief Creative Director, Grey Group.  She will be introduced by Jim Heekin, Chairman and CEO of Grey Group.

"For me, Patti is the point where Dylan collides with the New York Dolls; Leonard Cohen crashes into The Velvet Underground," Tim Mellors said. "She melds the muscularity of Rimbaud and Rambo in Peter Pan's tiny frame."  

About Smith's relevance to music and advertising, Jim Heekin said, "Patti's unique understanding of creativity is a wonderful and insightful lesson to anyone who hopes to flourish in the world of music, art or communication.  She's truly an inspired artistic force."

About Grey

Grey is the advertising network of Grey Group.  Grey Group ranks among the largest global communications companies.  Its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).  Under the banner of "Grey Famously Effective Since 1917," the agency serves a blue-chip client roster of many of the world's best-known companies:  Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Diageo, Darden Restaurants, Pfizer, Canon, 3M, Eli Lilly, ETrade, NFL, Boehringer Ingelheim, J.M. Smucker and T.J. Maxx.  FAST COMPANY named Grey in its "50 Most Innovative Companies in the World" issue in 2010 and 2011, the only advertising agency so honored.   (

About the 58th International Advertising Festival June 19-25, 2011 in Cannes, France.

The International Advertising Festival - Cannes Lions - is the largest gathering of worldwide advertising professionals and advertisers as well as the most prestigious annual advertising awards. More than 10,000 registered delegates from 94 countries and around 12,000 total visitors from the advertising and allied industries attend this event to celebrate the best of creativity across all media mix, discuss industry issues and network with one another. Over 28,000 ads from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. Winning companies receive the highly coveted Lion trophy, honoring the most creative film, print, outdoor, interactive, radio, design, sales promotion, integrated and Titanium advertising, as well as the best media, direct marketing and PR solutions. A unique program of high-profile seminars, workshops and keynote speakers are also presented by some of the biggest names in the industry.

Contact: Owen Dougherty 212-546-2551