French advertisers have the edge : n° 9, avril 2014

When it merges with Omnicom, Publicis will become the world’s leading advertising group. France is home to many other heavyweights in the advertising industry. There is a reason for this success…


Why stop now when things are going so well? On 6 March, the French advertising group Publicis announced its acquisition of Hawkeye, in the United States. This Dallas-based agency, a leader in digital marketing, will join the long list of those that have fallen prey in recent years to the Parisian giant, founded in1926 by MarcelBleustein-Blanchet. Boasting sales of €6.95billion, Publicis will rise to new heights in the first half of2014 by merging with the American firm Omnicom. The two groups will be united, for better or for worse, to become the advertising industry’s global leader. Its agencies, which include BBDO, SaatchiSaatchi, DDB, LeoBurnett, TBWA, Razorfish, PublicisWorldwide and ZenithOptimedia, will employ a total of 130,000people worldwide, with earnings of around €20billion. France has always been a breeding ground for advertisers.


Publicis’ main competitor, Havas, is the sixth largest group worldwide, with 16,000employees in over 100 countries. Its long list of clients includes many prestigious brands such as Air France, Canal Plus, Citroën, Coca-Cola, Danone, Hershey’s, Hyundai, IBM, LVMH, McDonald’s, Orange and Peugeot. France’s success on the global advertising market, which was worth no less than $557billion in2012, is not a coincidence. “Advertising is the art of combining technique, which consists of knowing the client, with magic, which comes from creativity,” explains Vincent Mady, technical director of TradeLab, a company that specializes in online advertising. “The French culture fosters great creativity alongside pragmatism. That explains why the advertising sector is so dynamic in France.” While French creative types have mastered the art of coming up with a slogan that sells, many other companies have expanded in complementary fields linked to the world of advertising and publicity.


Thanks to its 480,400advertising panels, JCDecaux is the world number one for street furniture, with sales of more than €2,676billion. A global leader in airport advertising with over 145sites, the group, which is present in 3,700cities of more than 10,000inhabitants in over 60countries, also manages 377,000advertising panels in metro, bus, train and tram networks in 290municipalities.

In another sector, GLEvents has gradually become a key player on the tradeshow and exhibition market. This group, which has a workforce of 4000, organizes more than 300tradeshows and manages 37congress centres, as well as exhibition grounds and performance venues both in France (Paris, Lyons, Toulouse, Nice, etc.) and abroad (Brussels, Barcelona, London, Shanghai, RiodeJaneiro, Turin and Istanbul).

Marco Rangi
The advertising industry in figures:

. €31billion spent on advertising in France
. 25% of advertising budgets spent on television, 24.1% on press advertising and 13.4% on the Internet
. 18,071advertising agencies in France
. 95,848employees
. $557billion spent on advertising worldwide

publie le 21/04/2014

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