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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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
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.
Adbrands Social Media 8th Jan 2019: "The Little Duck". The latest spot from BETC Paris for Disneyland Paris is saccharine, soppy... and completely adorable! I'll have to confess that Donald Duck has never been my favourite Disney character, but this charming little fable is just perfect. A brilliant and heart-warming idea, brought to life with outstanding digital animation and true to the Disney brand in every way. It's ads like this that show why BETC has the creative reputation it does.
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Nov 2018: Ads of the Week "The Gift". If there are any prizes going for best Christmas ad of the year, this splendid film for Swiss department store Manor will surely be among the contenders. It's actually something of a sequel to last year's ad in which the same Santa and elves struggled to decipher a child's drawing of what he wants for Christmas. This time, though, Manor doesn't just solve Santa's dilemma, it's actually now his main factory. Definitely a promotion there. Agency BETC Paris have once again called upon what is surely now the industry's top animation house Passion Pictures and directors' collective AgainstAllOdds to deliver a heart-warming tale of seasonal joy.
Adbrands Social Media 19th Oct 2018: "The Idea". The latest for Canal+ from BETC Paris offers lavish digital effects at what must have been considerable expense, and it's designed to impress. However it lacks the sort of brilliant idea that has underpinned some of the agency's best work for this client, like those Emperor penguins, the Closet, and the Bear, or even some of the more recent spots for Canal+ sports coverage. How many ads for a pay-TV service have we seen like this that feature a horde of characters or situations from different movies or shows all jumbled up in the same frame? The results are certainly visually effective, and the punchline at least is different, but ironically an ad about the big idea is missing a big idea.
Adbrands Social Media 18th Sep 2018: "Big Stories". BETC Paris has come up with a movie-themed love story to promote a new subscription pass for France's leading cinema chain Pathe Gaumont. It's a riff on the age-old story of Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy wins Girl back again, but told without any words other than those provided by a series of classic movies. It's a simple idea, executed with great charm, and boasting a cute little final gag. Those French guys, always playing hard to get in the end...!
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