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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Who are the competitors of BETC? see France's Leading Advertising Agencies
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Adbrands Daily Update 14th Feb 2020: "Being Responsible Can Be Hard". It's all well and fine for eco-warriors to lecture consumers on the need to adapt to a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, but for most people change is hard, and it's important to adapt the message accordingly. BETC have got it spot on here with an entertaining film for leading French supermarket Leclerc. It adopts takes a gentler persuasive tone, bolstered by a succession of clever little sight pro-organic gags. Helpfully, the agency has also provided an English language version so we can all enjoy the concept of, among other delights, grass-flavoured toothpaste.
Adbrands Daily Update 17th Dec 2019: "An Extraordinary Day". 'La La Land' meets Jacques Demy's'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' in this charming musical special from BETC for La Poste, France's state-owned postal service. It seems like odd timing to release such a summery film. It's strangely unspecific too: perhaps we're missing something but we're not sure what sort of service exactly La Poste is promoting here, with only the briefest glimpses of traditional postal operations. It looks more like a smartphone ad than a commercial for physical delivery services. Still, it makes a pleasant change from all the tinsel and early darkness.
Adbrands Daily Update 14th Nov 2019: "The Guardians". We're close to peak Christmas now in advertising terms. Another week or two and it will all be over for new seasonal ads - did I hear someone say "thank God"? - and we'll just have Christmas itself to contend with. Swiss department store Manor and their trusty agency BETC Paris have brought back their team of incompetent elves for the third consecutive year. This year's entertaining tale doesn't have quite the same enjoyably sinister overtones and emotional punch of 2018's miniature masterpiece but it's still a fine piece of work, animated once again by Passion Studios' AgainstAllOdds team. This year, the elves have to contend with another mythical human creation, a baby-delivering stork.
Adbrands Daily Update 25th Oct 2019: "A Life To Build". No one does magical realism in advertising quite as well as French agencies in general, and BETC Paris in particular; it's a style that reoccurs often in their campaigns. (Think of their recent ads for Lacoste for example). They knock the ball out of the park with this spectacular, dreamlike film for DIY chain Leroy Merlin, in which a rundown shack transforms itself (with just a bit of help from the humans) into a wondrous and palatial treehouse. And it's all because of love, of course. An earlier film a couple of years ago for the same client followed similar lines, with a seaside home evolving into a houseboat. Magnifique!
Adbrands Daily Update 14th Oct 2019: "Biiip". How meta can you get? BETC Paris pushes it to the limit with a series of three ads for leading French pay-TV platform Canal+ which - like every other legacy content platform - has come under intense pressure from Netflix, and is also nervously awaiting the arrival of Disney+ and other new challengers. The gag here is that "for legal reasons", Canal+ can't mention Netflix or any of its programmes. BETC made the first two ads, but then - because life is always stranger than fiction - everything changed when Canal+ and Netflix signed a truce and agreed to join forces against the new invaders. So they had to make a third ad to explain the whole situation. It's a complicated proposition, more complicated than it needs to be, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. And who can resist ads with a bit of swearing?
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