Publicis Conseil wins for good

by Maud Largeaud , AdForum

French advertising professionals, students and enthusiasts were asked to vote for their favorite cause-related campaigns during the recent Agency Open Day (#JAO) organized by the AACC (the national ad agency association).

The online vote was initiated by ACT Responsible, which has been working since 2001 to promote advertising for good causes and wanted to celebrate French creativity in that field.

Publicis Conseil – which has participated in the exhibition for many years – was not only voted the winner with its film for France 5, but saw many of its campaigns ranked near the top. We asked creative directors Olivier Desmettre and Fabrice Delacourt and corporate social responsibility director  Caroline Darmon to comment on the win and talk about the agency’s position on charity and public service campaigns.

A source of pride

“At Publicis Conseil we believe that we have a responsibility not only to our clients and employees, but also to society in its widest sense. That’s why we’ve always worked for good causes either free of charge, or by lending the skills of our employees.

This has become even more crucial as charities and public services now face the same challenges as commercial brands: the problems of visibility, awareness, appeal…and all in a harsh economic climate.

In fact, overcoming these obstacles is the expertise we offer our clients every day, and can also put at the disposal of NGOs, charities and foundations – even if some of them feel a little removed from our usual world.

Of course, most of these campaigns have a production and media budget of close to zero. But one our strengths is our network of photographers, directors, production and – thanks to Zenith Optimedia – media agencies, who regularly provide their time and knowledge to find inexpensive or free solutions, without compromising on quality.

Finally – and this is very important – working for good causes is a real source of motivation and commitment for our employees. Being able to focus our talents on a particular social issue and actually see an improvement makes each and every one of us proud of what we do.

All this is reflected in the two popular campaigns in this selection.


The broadcaster France 5 – which is of course not a charity or an association – decided to raise awareness of a hidden issue in society: the “double punishment” of homeless women. Not only do they have to cope with life on the street, they also need to protect themselves from homeless men. A situation no one was aware of, and that needed to be brought to light.


The second is for DEPAUL, a British homeless charity which was completely unknown in France and had no money for advertising. The idea comes from an insight we decided to test for real: more attention is paid to abandoned animals in the streets than homeless people. A truly disturbing truth.”

The most popular campaign for France 5 will be shown free of charge at ACT’s exhibition during this year’s Cannes Lions Festival.