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Apple's big presence at an advertising event may offer clues for WWDC 2023

Tor Myhren, Apple's VP of Marketing Communications

Apple is expanding its participation at the 2023 Cannes Lions advertising festival, indicating the possibility of an advertising announcement at WWDC.

The company usually maintains a low-profile presence during significant industry events. During such events, Apple's representatives have even gained a reputation for discreetly flipping their lanyards to prevent passers-by from reading their name or company on their badges.

But as Business Insider reports on Thursday, that will change with the 2023 Cannes Lions festival. According to various sources in the advertising industry, Apple has secured a rental space at the Carlton Hotel, located prominently on the Croisette promenade.

Apple executives are set to organize meetings, lunches, and social gatherings at the hotel. Additionally, the company has plans to host a week-long program featuring panel discussions on various topics, such as sports on Apple TV+, Apple News, apps, and the expansion of Apple's advertising services.

Industry insiders speculate that Apple's significant presence at Cannes may coincide with an advertising announcement at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), scheduled to commence on June 5 at Apple Park in California.

Apple has been working to increase its advertising business. But according to an insider familiar with Apple's advertising business, the company doesn't share the same level of ambition as other companies like Meta and Google.

One possible reason for an advertising announcement at a developer's conference could involve Apple's rumored mixed-reality headset. Such an announcement could allow Apple to inspire brands and other creative entities to generate compelling content for virtual and augmented reality.

An anonymous marketing executive commented that Apple's prominent presence at Cannes was ironic considering the company's complex relationship with advertising. "How is privacy and ads going to work?" they said.