Though it lacks the size of locally grown Havas and Publicis, BBDO Group Paris is widely regarded as one of the country's most admired creative agencies, with a long-established reputation for unusual and effective advertising. The flagship of the group is its main creative agency, CLM BBDO, which is also a significant force within the global BBDO network. BBDO's worldwide below-the-line network Proximity is also represented in France by Proximity BBDO Paris, working alongside the main CLM/BBDO agency. The two units were effectively combined in 2015 under the banner of BBDO Paris. There is also a specialised luxury unit within the main agency, operating as BBDO Beau. For many years the group was supported by a small collection of satellite agencies. The two most significant of these were second-string agency Robinson, which tended to specialise in local or challenger brands, and corporate communications Creapress. These were merged at the beginning of 2010 to form New BBDO, but that agency was folded back into the main agency five years later. Valerie Accary replaced Jean-Michel Carlo as group president in 2005 and has led the agency ever since. Olivier Rippe, former CEO of Proximity BBDO Paris, was named as group chief executive in 2015. Matthieu Elkaim is now executive creative director. Philippe Michel, regarded as one of the godfathers of the French ad industry, founded CLM in 1972 with partners Allen Chevalier and Jean-Loup Le Forestier, and headed it for the next 20 years. The partners sold an equity stake to BBDO a year after its founding, and quickly earned a reputation for imaginative creativity that was sometimes thoughtful (reflecting Michel's interest in psychology and philosophy) but often just playful and provocative. Among its most celebrated campaigns was the "Myriam" sequence of three posters for outdoor display company Avenir. Chevalier left during the 1980s followed by Le Forestier but Michel stayed put at CLM until his untimely death from a heart attack in 1993.
Capsule checked 6th March 2019
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Daily Update 27th Nov 2019: "SnickersGate". BBDO's most ambitious gag to-date under the umbrella of Snickers' global "You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign comes from France. Local outpost CLM BBDO conceived a complicated stunt whereby local Snickers bars were replaced with the same company's Bounty, but still inside the usual Snickers wrappers. They then waited for the inevitable social media backlash before unveiling a traditional commercial which explained the whole stunt as the result of a hungry production supervisor at the Snickers factory. It would be hard to get more meta than that. Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that agencies these days sometimes spend more time thinking about the final case-study and the possibility of collecting an award for being clever, than in making a good ad. The "You're Not You..." campaign has had some great moments, and can still turn out great ads like the Elton John one last year. But when it culminates in a stunt as complicated and self-referential as this, it might be time to come up with a new campaign.
Adbrands Social Media 20th Feb 2019: "I Saw An Online Tutorial...". Watching a YouTube tutorial doesn't make you an expert at DIY, and it might also give you a misplaced confidence in your own abilities. That's the warning offered by this funny new spot from BBDO Proximity for Saint Maclou, the French interior design chain that forms part of the vast Mulliez retail conglomerate (which is also home to Auchan, Decathlon and Leroy Merlin). Rather than sell you furnishings for you to install yourself, the store sends in its own craftsmen to do the job for you. The comic vignettes are well-conceived building nicely from moderately challenging to seriously dangerous.
Adbrands Social Media 27th Oct 2018: "The Beat". Some nice moves in CLM BBDO's live action spot for Ubisoft videogame Just Dance. Yet we remain unconvinced by these real life promos for games. As the games themselves become more and more life-like, it seems like a little bit of a cheat not to use actual gameplay throughout in their ads. Many developers have already gone that way, with Ubisoft one of the few hold-outs. This is a great little film, but it's all because of those first 50 seconds. Those last 10 - as is often the case with such ads - are a bit of a let-down. With apologies to Ubisoft and CLM BBDO, we'd argue you will have more fun dancing freestyle in a club with friends than following set rules in your sitting room staring at the TV.
Adbrands Social Media 25th Jun 2018: "Au Revoir Olivia". Let's kick off Monday morning with this sweet spot from CLM BBDO in Paris for Grand'Mere coffee from JDE. Even non-French speakers will realise this is a break-up call. "Hi Olivia, I don't know how to tell you this, but I'm not coming to the party tonight. I think we'll just stay friends." At times like that only some grandmotherly comfort will do. It's a lovely set-up, diminished somewhat by the pay-off of a visit to Grandma. The biggest surprise is perhaps, in this day and age, that anyone even still makes a coffee called "Grandmother"...
Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Aug 2017: Ads of the Week "Kingdom Battle: Robbery". We hate to say too much about the three hilarious new spots from BBDO Proximity Paris for Ubisoft's new Kingdom Battle game for fear of spoiling the joke. Let's just say the agency has created several excellent, cinematic scenarios to illustrate the comic possibilities involved in humans teaming up with rabbits. The ads themselves have only an oblique connection to the game itself, which twins the two top-selling franchises of Nintendo's Mario and the Raving Rabbids. A great laugh-out-loud gag. See the two other spots on our Facebook page.
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