Advertising Spoken Here

At an international festival of television commercials, the hottest spots reveal a world of cultural differences

Five weeks after its glamorous film festival, the French Riviera town of Cannes once again becomes the scene of a major international competition. Top filmmakers from around the world -- from Argentina to Yugoslavia -- offer their work. World-class directors like Ridley Scott and Spike Lee capture the moment. Performers from Madonna to Mickey Rourke play to collective fantasies. But this time there is one crucial difference: most of the movies flash by in 15 to 90 seconds.

This is the other Cannes festival -- the 38th International Advertising Film Festival. Here some 4,500 art directors, copywriters and filmmakers gathered to...

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