It’s official: as of this morning I begin a new professional life. For the 4th time in 18 years, I am changing my job but not changing my employer. Today begins Guillaume Pannaud’s (see above photo, right) first day as President of TBWA\France. I am now the Vice-President of TBWA\Europe and President of BEING Worldwide.
BEING – The Brand Behavior Network – aspires to be an alternative micro-network within the TBWA\ group. A network of brand behavior experts, BEING leverages multidisciplinary thinking to provide services from point-of-sales design, to consulting, digital and advertising. In a world where actions speak louder than words and brand experience is as important as brand communication, BEING provides an integrated offer that reinforces brand behavior. This is why BEING has put design at the center of what it does as it is the first expression of brand behavior.
BEING was founded in Paris in 2010 by Bruno Tallent (see above photo) and his team, by merging three agencies within the TBWA\ group. Two years after BEING’s birth, it became the 2nd biggest agency in the TBWA\France group with 240 employees based in Paris, Lyon, and Lille. Clients today include Procter&Gamble, Mondelez, Groupama, Pernod Ricard, and many others. I am very proud of some of BEINGs most recent work: a film for Martell directed by James Gray, and the first ever ad for Deezer (a music streaming service) done by the illustrator McBess. BEING France has been named France’s “Integrated Agency of the Year” and obtained its first Effie Prize in 2011. In 2012, BEING was the only French agency to be short-listed at Cannes– not a bad beginning!
In the past two years, the BEING brand has been exported to New York, Los Angeles (see LA’s Kraft film below), and London. As of this summer, our agency in Doha has since become BEING Qatar, and we are currently opening up BEINGs in Shanghai and Seoul. In 2013, we are actively developing the brand in the BRIC countries and in Europe. We hope to have 15 BEING agencies by the end of this year. One of the many things that makes BEING special is the agency’s ability to bring local expertise to global clients (from Paris’s design specialization to London’s digital savvy). This “liquid network” is perfectly suited the era of liquid marketing (see my LinkedIn post “What if we let liquid marketing flow?“)
A year ago I accepted the mission of developing the BEING network whilst remaining head of TBWA\France. BEING’s considerable expansion has now made this task my principal preoccupation in 2013. To celebrate this new job, my blog (which I remind you is personal), will very soon by dressed in the BEING color scheme!
This begins the fourth chapter of my professional journey next to Jean-Marie Dru, the Chairman of TBWA\Worldwide. Jean-Marie, inventor of Disruption, recruited me in 1994 to serve as deputy Managing Director (alongside Natalie Rastoin) of the agency BDDP Conseil (today TBWA\Paris). Before that, I had spent 6 years at Saatchi and 6 years at CLM/BBDO where I worked with the extraordinary adman Philippe Michel.
In 1998, after 4 years at BDDP Conseil, I created BDDP&Fils with Olivier Altmann and Valérie Hénaff. Today, BDDP&Fils is head up by the amazing François Blachère. In 2004, I had the honor of becoming the President of TBWA\France, third largest communication group in France (after Havas and Publicis). Today, TBWA\France counts 1600 employees and 19 agencies (TBWA\Paris, BEING, Integer, TBWA\Corporate, Auditoire, TextuelLaMine, Harrison & Wolf, BDDP&Fils, E-Graphics, Else, TBWA\Adelphi, Excel, XL, Qualicontact, DAN, SMARTS, Luxury Arts, TBWA\Compact, Nouvelle Vague).
These past 8 years heading up TBWA\France has been a true pleasure thanks to caliber (both personal and professional) of the managers and workers. In my many years in communications, I can attest to TBWA\France’s unique collaborative culture which I believe comes straight from the 4 founders of the BDDP group (Jean-Claude Boulet, Jean-Marie Dru, Marie-Catherine Dupuy, and Jean-Pierre Petit). BDDP’s merger with TBWA\ in 1998 allowed us to become a global force, and a strong presence on the American market (thanks in particular to TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles) whilst still retaining a strong French and European anchoring (today, TBWA\France represents 15% of global profits of TBWA\ and it is the second largest country for the network after the US). I am proud to pass the baton to Guillaume. I wish him the best in leading what I consider to be a particularly solid and successful group, made up of an extraordinary team of managers who are each at the top of their game. I would like to thank all of my colleagues from TBWA\France for their contribution to these 8 years of success. I wish them all the best for the coming 8 years and I am confident that the best is yet to come. I will continue to do my maximum to contribute.
Changing my job 4 times while working at the same company is a professional pleasure, especially when the company is TBWA. I personally have found it more enriching to grow within the same company, rather than changing companies every time an opportunity came up. I guess what’s been most important for me has been finding my own way of BEING!