BETC Paris is the main creative flagship of the global Havas network. It was created in 1994 following the merger of French agency networks Eurocom and RSCG. Remi Babinet, former creative director of BDDP, and Eric Tong Cuong from Ogilvy France were recruited to lead a new "super-agency" in Paris, initially named Euro RSCG Babinet Tong Cuong. They were joined a year later by Mercedes Erra, and the agency adopted the initials BETC after its principals. Eric TC left the agency in 2002 (and later established indie shop La Chose), but Erra and Babinet remain in situ to this day. Yet gradually BETC pulled away from the rest of the Havas Worldwide network, carving out a separate existence for itself in 2012 under the name BETC Paris, though still working side by side with Havas Paris and other agencies. It has a particular reputation for top-notch creative work, most notably for long-time clients Canal+ and Evian. There are several satellites including luxury goods specialist BETC Etoile Rouge, brand strategy arm BETC Consulting, BETC Design and General Pop, the latter a consultancy involved in music development and sourcing. Traction was spun out in 2017 as a separate unit to handle the local Citroen account. In 2011, BETC began moves to establish its own global micro-network, opening its first outpost in the UK as BETC London. That unit's history has been slightly less starry, marked in particular by a falling out at the end of 2013 between its joint managing partners, both of whom were sacked. A second international office was launched in 2014 in Sao Paulo in Brazil in a partnership with local managers. Mercedes Erra remains co-chair of the Havas creative network and co-president of BETC with Remi Babinet, group creative director. Stephane Xiberras is president & creative director of BETC.
Capsule checked 30th November 2018
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Adbrands Daily Update 17th Sep 2019: "Rebuild the World". Toymaker LEGO today unveiled what must be its biggest and most lavish advertising campaign ever, in a collaboration between BETC Paris and the company's inhouse LEGO Agency. The concept of course is "What if the LEGO world was real?" But in keeping with company rules - which forbid any representation of guns (though not hunting) - the protagonists here wield pretty a harmless-looking bow and arrow. The new campaign follows in the wake of half-year results that showed LEGO to be better shape than its two main US rivals Hasbro and Mattel but still under intense pressure. Sales were up, but higher investment in new stores and infrastructure caused a sharp decline in operating margins and profits. It's a tough market out there, but this joyful new ad should help to underpin better performance in the critical holiday season ahead.
Adbrands Social Media 11th Jun 2019: "The Baby Bare Necessities". The Evian Babies are back after a prolonged absence. Last seen three years ago in 'Evian Baby Bay', they've returned - courtesy once again of original creators BETC Paris - with new sophistication and a nice line in snappy apparel. Let's overlook the slightly shaky CG in a couple of sequences, because the concept is as charming as it ever was.
Adbrands Social Media 20th May 2019: "Crocodile Inside". The latest Lacoste film from BETC Paris borrows the same basic plotline from their splendid earlier 'Giant Leap' spot but adds some extraordinarily epic digital effects. Incredible what you can do with computers nowadays. Like last time, it's a break-up then make-up situation, but the girl is the one who takes that giant leap this time round. No disrespect to that handsome couple, but it's really the digital effects team who are the stars of the film. And the whole thing ends with a sly tribute to the genius of Buster Keaton, who first invented that falling building/window gag.
Adbrands Social Media 16th May 2019: "Trouble in the Tropics". Here's a cute spot from BETC Paris for Schweppes mixers, owned in France and most of the rest of Europe by Suntory. We suspect there's a fair bit of digital manipulation going on here to elicit such a good performance from those monkeys, but the end results are delightful. That one-two fruit shuffle is especially good.
Adbrands Social Media 3rd Apr 2019: "Baby". BETC's first big campaign for top French supermarket chain Leclerc has arrived, with two spots that remind us just how much those major life events actually cost. You're not having a baby (or a holiday, in the accompanying ad) but a big shopping list, so it's just as well Leclerc is not only famous for its low prices but also sells everything you might need. (Even nanny services?) It's a clever idea, and it makes sense as a campaign approach, but I'm not sure how well it comes across. It just makes those major life events sound like a bit of a downer. Might it have worked better without stating the Euro value of each of those items? Even at Leclerc that's a whopping great bill.
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