The French office of the Grey global network merged in 2017 with its Belgian sibling Famous, and both agencies adopted the new name FamousGrey. In a complete overhaul of management, Famous' CEO and founder Marc Fauconnier was named as chairman of the merged business, with Geraldine Carlioz named as CEO. It was another in a series of rebirths for the local Grey brand. The first such overhaul came in 2000 with the folding of Grey's existing office in France into what was then France's biggest independent agency, founded by Pierre Berville and Pierre Callegari 13 years earlier. They assumed management control of what became Callegari Berville Grey (or CB Grey). Pierre Berville stepped down as president and creative director of Callegari Berville Grey in 2006; Callegari remained chairman until his retirement two years later, at which point the agency returned to the plain Grey brand. A series of managers led the business over the next few years until the merger with Famous in 2017. The agency's marketing services satellite G2 Paris (previously known as Grrrey!) was absorbed into Geometry Global in 2013. In 2017, the group acquired Paris-based digital agency Sensio, which now operates alongside the main agency as SensioGrey. However, the downsizing of the local French office continued over the following years and in 2020, WPP announced the transfer of Grey France's ten remaining Paris-based staff into the much larger local Ogilvy office. FamousGrey continues to operate under that name in Belgium, as does Parisian digital agency SensioGrey, for the time being at least.
Capsule checked 29th June 2020
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Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Jun 2020: After years of slow but steady decline, Grey's once-substantial outpost in Paris is to be folded into much larger sibling Ogilvy. The Grey brand will be retained but will operate as a unit of Ogilvy Paris, with full access to the larger network's PR, branding, CRM and production services. By early 2020, there were only ten full-time employees of Grey Paris, led by creative directors Regis Boulanger and Romain Repellin, and they will now transfer to Ogilvy's 500-strong offices in rue Marbeuf. "We are very pleased to join forces with Grey's network with which Ogilvy has always had a great deal in common," said Ogilvy Paris co-president Matthieu Elkaim. "We look forward to welcoming [Grey creative leaders] Romain and Regis, who we know well. We share their entrepreneurial spirit acquired over the last few years at Grey; a value we are keen to inspire at Ogilvy." Inevitably, the move has inspired speculation that a wider international combination of the Grey and Ogilvy networks might follow under the latter's newly appointed CEO Andy Main.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Oct 2017: The Paris outpost of Grey is merging with its separately branded Belgian counterpart Famous, acquired by the network last year. As a result, both agencies are adopting the new name FamousGrey, and have appointed a new senior management team. The Belgian shop's founder and CEO Marc Fauconnier becomes group president, with Geraldine Carlioz named as CEO.
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