Cannes Lions Releases Name of Journalist Who Died During the Festival

Michael König of Germany collapsed in press center

Headshot of David Griner

CANNES, France—This year's Cannes Lions festival proved doubly tragic as the death of a Google marketing employee was followed by that of a German journalist.

On the opening day of the festival—Sunday, June 21—Google U.K. marketing employee James Howard was killed after reportedly being hit by a taxi in Cannes. Howard was just 29.

As the weeklong event came to a close Friday, a journalist collapsed in the Cannes Lions press center in front of several witnesses. However, event organizers waited to release information about the man's identity out of respect for his family.

Today the Cannes Lions officially identified the journalist as Michael König of Germany's New Business. The publication's head of communications was 41.

In a statement to the event's press corps, the Cannes Lions and König's family thanked those in the press center who helped react to his sudden collapse:

"The family would like to sincerely thank Michael's friends and colleagues in the industry for their overwhelming support, expression of sympathy and warm thoughts. They tell us that Michael often expressed how much he loved his work and the people in the industry; that Cannes Lions was his favourite event and each year he looked forward to meeting people, exchanging ideas and building friendships at the Festival," the statement said.

"Cannes Lions would like to again thank everyone who was in the Press Centre that afternoon for their help. We especially want to thank those closest to Michael who raised the alarm and immediately tried to assist him. Your actions meant our team could enact emergency procedures, ensuring the onsite paramedics were by Michael's side as swiftly as possible."

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."