Monday (April 24th, 2006)
by Chris Wynne
11:30 – 13:45
PUBLICIS WORLDWIDE – Knowing People and Business, Better.
Publicis Worldwide hosted a morning session at their Champs Elysees offices including memorable views of the Arc de Triomphe. Rick Bendel, COO Publicis Worldwide, took the 23 consultants through his views of what makes them different and in his words it starts and ends with talent. In the 3rd year of their change initiative, Publicis is filled with new managers and new creative blood. He referred specifically to the notion of local talent leading agencies which he believed was evidenced by Publicis WW having the largest “non” ex-pat leadership of any agency. He continued to explain that the Publicis approach was about building networks around talent, not clients and that their success would come by bridging “demand creation” with “demand convergence”.
Rick also gave the group a heads up on the yet to break news that they had acquired Belgium’s largest independent agency, Duval Guilaume. Afterwards, various members of the Publicis management team spoke including Nik Studzinski, Executive Creative Director and Tim Lindsay, Group Chairman, from the UK, who took the group through some provocative work being done for the UK Army.
14:15 – 16:15
DDB PRESIDENT AND CEO, CHUCK BRYMER
On day six of taking the reigns of global DDB, newly appointed President and CEO, Chuck Brymer, joined the consultants aboard a boat trip down the Seine. Chuck, along Cleve Langton, Global New Business Head, Michael Bray, President of DDB Europe and Herve Brossard, Global Chief Client Officer, spent 45 minutes on a meet and great mission making sure the group responsible for over 30% of the Pan European new business reviews met the new head of one of the largest global agencies.
16:30 – 17:45
MARCEL, PARIS – FRED RAILLARD, CO-PRESIDENT
After making the journey to the less than posh Republique section of Paris, the group of 23 found itself in an old factory building of some kind. After walking up a flight of stairs and being led to a make shift conference room which was more a hallway than a room, we were greeted by the very young, somewhat hyper, forever passionate, Fred Raillard, Marcel, Paris Co-President. Fred spent some time going through the standard powerpoint, with his own special twist. After viewing a, lets just call it a different, creative reel, Fred took the group the work room to show boards on some new coke work. His passion was contagious and two comments from the group stuck out. One attendee was heard saying, “If I’m a client, this is the first place I come and visit.” A second was heard opining “I’d love to see what he could come up with for a couple of my accounts. It might scare them, but it will certainly get them thinking.”
Back to Publicis’ Champs office for dinner with Publicis Group CEO, Maurice Levy. Maurice Took the group of consultants through his views on the strengths of his main agency brands and described a culture at Publicis where everyone understands and is incented to view the success of Publicis Group as their key goal whether they’re in a Saatchi, Leo, Fallon or a Publicis agency office. The dinner had been interrupted on a number of occasions by a thunderstorm moving overhead. All agreed that it was a memorable experience and that they had just been hosted by a consummate gentleman and world class businessman.
Tuesday (April 25th, 2006)
by Hervé de Clerck
VINCENT BOLLORE : I am not the big bad wolf.
In a surprise appearance, Vincent Bolloré, the Chairman of Havas and its main shareholder (along with Aegis) explained why one should not see him as a financier but as a strategic investor for the long run. “The Bolloré Group is held the family since 200 years which says a lot about our long term commitments” says Bolloré, “and Advertising and Media generates clearly more interest to my children than Shipping and Rubber” Bolloré believes Havas is in good shape, with renewed management and new opportunities created by the fact that there is more flexibility in a company holding a sole network instead of 3. Asked about his goal for Aegis, he answered that there was an obvious reinforcement of both partners into any combination of Aegis with MPG, but as long as Aegis management sees him as ‘the big bad wolf” little progress can be made.
DAVID JONES : Euro RSCG is in great shape.
David Jones delivered a short update on the recent developments and new faces at Euro RSCG. He emphasized that the recent successes of the agency were due to the bottom up philosophy that prevails at Euro RSCG as opposed to the usual top-down processes favoured by the major US dominated networks. “The opportunity is to create an environment where the entrepreneur spirit can bloom and be contagious” says Jones. Then, Euro updated the consultants on recent developments in Central Europe where they put in place a centralized management and consolidated P&L for the region. Based on local leaderships in Czech Republic and Hungary, Euro RSCG has big ambitions in all Central Europe, including Russia where franco-russian Edouard Moradpour is building a strong organization in a very difficult environment.
DESGRIPPES, GOBE & ASSOCIATES
Starting as a shop specialized in perfume bottle design, Desgrippes and his partners have built in 30 years a truly global Image & Branding Consulting firm with offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, New York, Paris and Brussels. “And all this, without speaking a word of English! lies proudly Joel Desgrippes “en Français”. Working for all industry sectors from Coke brand image rejuvenation to AirFrance brand strategy and implementation throughout all non-media channels of the brand, DG&A claims to work on Brand identity “usually a step before the agencies”. They call their mission: Emotional Branding. Francois Caratgé, DG&A CEO illustrates the role of the company: “It is like when a person enters a room; even before he talks, his stature, look, dress, attitude convey an image. Our role is to take care of this aspect of his communication. The Agency’s role is to relay the message afterwards, when he starts to talk!”. Nevertheless, DG&A does not mind at times putting a foot in the Agency’s turf. For instance, they invented the concept “Dirt is Good” for Unilever and were even involved in briefing the agencies. This sure has created some emotional reactions!
OGILVY: Behind the curtain
Ogilvy decided to reveal to the consultants the untold story of the Dove campaign. The acclaimed campaign promoting the ‘true’ beauty of the woman might have never been launched. Many opponents from the client side as well as inside Ogilvy lobbied for a more conservative approach. The campaign, originally developed by a creative team in Frankfurt was nearly abandoned due to strong client and internal push back when it was presented to the newly appointed CMO in charge of the product and who eventually decided to back it. After months of back and forth, the campaign was aired in Germany and immediately gained non-forecasted Media attention and buzz. It was then decided to launch it in other countries with a strong PR back up as well as digital support until it reached its worldwide current “cult” status… In a move to demonstrate that the Ogilvy philosophy was a true corporate culture and not only a new business tool, Laurent Lilti, CEO OgilvyOne/Interactive France, toured the group of consultants inside the Knowledge Refinery, an intranet tool designed to spread Ogilvy’s worldwide experience and stimulate collaboration between members. Consultants were particularly interested in the “Truffles” a “Push” program, where you are suggested to open a topic linked to your business interests and focus. This tool can dig into a huge library of client presentations, case studies, surveys, creative approaches that have been taken by any Ogilvy office in the world in recent or non recent past. One consultant concluded: “One new truffle really matched my interest today!”