Australie is one of France's leading independent advertising agencies. Based in Paris, it was perhaps best known for many ywears for its campaigns for leading retail group Leclerc, one of France's top advertisers and Australie's biggest client for two decades. In a heavy blow, that account was lost in 2018 to BETC. However, Australie was quick to return to the grocery sector with the capture of Lidl in early 2019. It also offers advertising, digital and marketing services to a variety of other mostly French marketers. Denis & Co / Australie Event is its experiential unit, and a separate division was set up in 2013 to specialise in luxury brands under the name of Paris en Australie. Australie was founded in 1984 by Vincent Leclabart, an executive within what was then French marketing giant Eurocom (later Havas). Crucially, Leclabart negotiated a large minority shareholding in the newly created Australie which allowed him to block various subsequent attempts to merge the business into other Eurocom or Havas agencies. He eventually bought out Havas's majority shareholding in 2001, in partnership with his brother Jerome Leclabart, who became CEO. Jerome's son David Leclabart rejoined the agency in 2014 as general manager after several years at various other agencies including TBWA, McCann and BBDO, and became joint CEO with his father the following year. The family continues to own a majority holding in the business. In 2021, Australie joined forces with the Paris office of M&C Saatchi to create Groupe Australie.GAD. The British group retains a small minority stake in the merged entity. GAD's Gilles Masson is now co-president with David Leclabart.
Capsule checked 31st December 2020
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Adbrands Daily Update 14th Jan 2021: Noted French independent Australie has aligned itself with the global M&C Saatchi network as a result of a new partnership with the UK group's part-owned French susbidiary M&C Saatchi Gad. The two Parisian agencies - both located coincidentally on the same street - are joining forces as Groupe Australie.Gad. Management will control 75% of equity, while M&C Saatchi will share remaining 25% with private equity investors. It's not clear what stake M&C retains, but the deal appears to have reduced its stake in its French associate. Australie's David Leclabart and Gad's Gilles Masson (the G in Gad) will be co-presidents of the new group with Antoine Barthuel (the A in Gad) as creative director.
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Feb 2019: Just six months after the departure of its flagship client Leclerc, Australie triumphed in the creative review called by challenger brand Lidl. The account moves from Havas Humanseven. The German-based discounter is still small compared to France's traditional supermarkets, but is the country's fastest-growing grocery retailer by far, with market share reaching a new high this month of 5.7%. It is already one of France's top five advertisers, with a spend of more than €500m in 2017.
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