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Monet’s positioning reflects its focus on creating engagement, which has helped it develop into one of France’s leading PR firms, with 120 staffers providing corporate and consumer counsel to clients in the healthcare, kids/toys, food and tourism sectors—underpinned by particularly strong expertise in content, influencer marketing, social media, paid media, and data/analytics—the latter supplemented by newly-developed measurement capabilities, reflecting Monet’s 360-degree approach to communication.
Headquartered in Paris, the firm operates three further offices in Lyon, Nantes and Bordeaux.
After a spectacular 2021, Monet’s revenues were up by a further 22% last year, to €12 million, enough for it to rank among the top independents in France, where local firms continue to outperform the vast majority of the multinational operations. It continues to work with an impressive list of clients including New Balance, Adecco, Casio, Eckes-Granini Group (parent to brands such as Pago and Granini), Bosch, Nikon, Révillon Chocolatier, Siemens, Yamaha, and Pitaya, and there was a host of new business last year from clients such as Popeyes, Campari Group (brands including Laphroaig, Grand Marnier, Bowmore), Nokia Laptop, April, Pfizer, Honor, Roche Diabetes Care, Hankook, HTC, and Volotea.
Julian Monet took over as CEO in 2009, succeeding his mother Sophier, who douned the firm. The leadership team includes talent recruited from some of the market’s most successful agencies including associate Veronique Bourgeois, who joined from Publicis 13 years ago and general manager Amaury Bataille, who previously spent more than a decade as commercial director at Dior Perfumes. A critical new addition last year was Géraldine Masson, who joined as head of strategy after 15 years at Group SEB and is leading the LEARN data and analysis unit.
The launch this year of the LEARN data and analysis capability was a step forward in formalizing the firm’s strategic approach, and ensuring that its traditional media relations and digital and social capabilities work together seamlessly. The most striking example of this approach was the firm’s work for Mattel, helping to celebrate the 50th anniversary of UNO. Built around the insight that nobody really agrees on the rules of the game, the campaign created a pop culture moment with Mattel marketing exec Yannick Lapalu, who admitted that even he didn’t know for sure what the rules were.
— Paul Holmes
After putting in a few years at Hotwire, Nazim Damardji in 2013 returned to his entrepreneurial roots by opening Fabriq — his second tech-focused PR firm. From the outset, Damardji was committed to creating a firm that offers an exceptional experience for clients and staff. Fabriq today is an €830,000, 10-person business serving clients in Mobility, HR, ITB2B and cybersecurity. Though based exclusively in France, Fabriq has worldwide reach through the informal 55-agency network it helped create.
Fabriq is based in Paris.
Fabriq continued its growth trajectory in 2022, during which it grew 31% into an €830,000 business — a nice follow up to the impressive 46% lift in fee income the agency had in 2021. Fabriq ended 2022 with a team of 10 — twice the number it started the year with. Fabriq has reallocated time the agency used to spend chasing RFPs (it formally gave up participating in the process in 2021) to provide top-tier service to clients such as Keysight, Darktrace, Alcatel Lucent, Entreprise, Glassdoor, Owl Labs, Chargepoint, UiPath, Kaspersky, Safeguard, Sonatus, Solera, Botify and Bazaarvoice. In a move to boost its expertise in insights, Fabriq last year hired an analyst who dedicates his time to trending topics.
Damardji fosters a culture focused on furthering employees’ growth as professionals, and peace of mind outside of work. Viewed as savvy problem solvers, Fabriq staffers receive group training in areas including leadership and skills. Yet they also are offered the individualized attention of internal and external coaches. All while encouraging employees to take ownership of their actions and career paths by setting personal objectives and measuring results. You won’t find Fabriq employees in the office after-hours, as the firm’s commitment to work/life balance includes closing up shop at 6 p.m. Damardji, who moved to France from his native Algeria 19 years ago, makes an effort to hire employees of diverse backgrounds. The firm’s 10-person team speaks eight languages including: French, English, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, Arab and Japanese. Damardji’s leadership team includes associate director Mélanie Pernin Frigerio, account director Muriel Martin, and senior programme manager Marie Anne Bénardais.
Fabriq bolsters client service through in-depth knowledge of and expertise in partners’ sectors — mobility, HR, cybersecurity and ITB2B among them. In doing so, Fabriq is better equipped to assume an advisory role to clients which includes keeping them apprised of trending topics in their industries on a day-to-day basis as well as with the agency’s quarterly report, The Listening Post. The year’s top work included garnering coverage for a Glassdoor study on employees connecting to work while on vacation.
— Diana Marszalek
It was a pivotal year for Paris-born international agency Jin, which was founded in 2012 by Edouard Fillias, Alexandre Villeneuve and Romain Boudre, who recognised the opportunity to build an agency focused on digital marketing, technology and influence. After raising €3 million in private equity funding in 2021, last year the agency made its first acquisition, buying Opinion Act – a specialist in community analysis and digital strategy founded by Caroline Faillet – with the aim of creating Europe’s leading digital influence and community activation consultancy. The merged firm, which works with clients in sectors including health, finance and food, is now structured around five divisions: corporate reputation; social media brand building; media relations, plus two new divisions focusing on data and insights, and digital strategy.
Jin is based in France (Paris, Lyon), UK (London), Germany (Berlin) and in the US (New York), and, post-merger, now has 120 employees across the agency.
Jin’s fee income grew by around 15% last year to close to €30 million, with a 10% increase in its gross margin, excluding Opinion Act’s numbers. It is expecting 40% income growth across the merged company this year. Client wins during 2022 included Dermapharm and Getty Images, as well as a global investment firm and a leading utility provider, which joined Crédit Agricole, SNCF, Ferrero, Duolingo, Bouygues and Technicolor on Jin’s roster.
Jin – which has a multi-lingual, culturally-diverse team who are encouraged to work across its offices – has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of discrimination, sexism, bullying and harassment, and has never had an employee complaint – especially important at a time where French agencies are under scrutiny from Instagram account BalanceTonAgency, which shares testimonials of harassment victims in the advertising and PR agency world. The agency offers a return-to-work bonus of €2000 for mothers and fathers returning from parental leave, has harmonised sick leave rights across its markets, contributes to health insurance and offers yoga classes and gym subsidies. The agency runs the Jin Academy training programme, and after consultation with its young teams has partnered with Hackers without Borders and Techfugees. Senior appointments during the year included Anja Timme as head of augmented PR and Germany country manager, and Hugo Fargeas as head of international; at the start of this year, Fargeas – a prime example of homegrown talent, having started at the agency as a junior in 2016 – also became the agency’s MD in the UK.
Jin was shortlisted for a SABRE award for its Pink October breast cancer campaign for women’s health company Organon. Other outstanding work during the year included differentiating optical retailer GrandVision in a crowded market, increasing social media engagement for pharma Lilly, and impactful corporate and consumer media relations work for electric vehicle charging network Ionity. Thought leadership during the year included the publication of Faillet’s book, ‘Web3, the new digital war’, and the agency has continued its history of tech innovation (it built the PitchBoy VR pitch training tool for sales and customer relationship management in 2018 and has since spun it off into a stand-alone business) working on a soon-to-be-launched AI training product for clients.
— Maja Pawinska Sims
Founded in 2010 by Florian Silnicki, LaFrenchCom is an independent crisis communications firm that, over the years, has helped the range of global organizations, private and public, managing their reputation and image in France. The firm’s stature as one of Leader League’s leading crisis management consultancies in France stems from its laser focus on its three specialized services” crisis communications, crisis management litigation PR and communications under judicial restriction. Though exclusively French, LaFrenchCom has alliances with a global network of partners.
LaFrenchCom is based in Paris.
2022 was a very good year for LaFrenchCom, which saw revenue rise by an impressive 33% to €2.4 million. The firm’s 28-person supported an equally impressive list of clients that includes Taittinger, Filière champagne, Banque Populaire du Maroc, Bureau Vallée, UGGC Avocats, Magali Berdah & Shauna Event, Education First,Ville de Fessenheim, Fédération de football de Mauritanie, Novaxia and Saria. Leaders League named LaFrenchCom the best crisis PR agency in France.
LaFrenchCom puts a premium on a fair and equitable workplace and backs that with by providing staff resources and training in areas related to DEI, with the goal of fostering widespread understanding of differences in mindsets and cultures as well as improved skill sets. The agency has a dedicated management program to help minority and LGBTQ staff ultimately move up to leadership roles.
LaFrenchCom was named Best French Crisis PR Agency by the Leaders League.
— Diana Marszalek
Weber Shandwick’s story in France over the past couple of years is one of impressive recovery and turnaround. Four years ago, the office was losing money and at the bottom of the network’s EMEA market list. But under the leadership of CEO Éloi Asseline, previously with Lewis and M&C Saatchi, the French operation has been transformed, bringing its new positioning as the go-to strategic and creative agency in the French market to life with strengths across corporate reputation management, digital, consumer PR, healthcare and technology, as well as adding a new public affairs capability to its offer in 2022. The evolution of the French business, and its greater integration with the agency network, also reflects new EMEA chief executive Michael Frohlich’s plans to bring a renewed sense of connection and collaboration across the region, including a five-year plan and a new proposition focusing on the power of earned communications to shape society by working at the intersections of business, culture, media and policy, all underpinned with data.
From its headquarters in Paris, Weber Shandwick France has access to the extensive regional and global resources of its parent company.
While smaller than Weber Shandwick’s powerhouse operations in the UK, Germany, and the Middle East, the French business was a significant contributor to growth in 2022, with fee income up by high double digits. New business in 2022 came from clients such as Purina, Sanofi and Ceva Logistics, including creative strategy projects, while the firm’s biggest clients in France remain Nestle, Nespresso and Moderna.
Under Asseline’s leadership, the team has grown to nearly 50 – an 85% increase since 2018 – with a strong senior bench including head of strategic planning Jean Paoli, and VPs of consumer (Roberta Carrara), corporate issues and crisis (Katarina Haggioannou), integrated media (Raphaëlle Miyet) and technology (Eric Chauvelot). With new values in place – impact, curiosity, inclusion and courage – Weber Shandwick refreshed its approach to talent and its employee value proposition in 2022, including a focus on DE&I, with a raft of new inclusive policies and a celebration of National Inclusion Week across EMEA. The agency also introduced a new mobility programme, Access All Areas, and a new mental health programme, Open Minds.
After adding a new dimension to its creative work, including the expansion of digital media agency Flipside to Paris in 2021, the team in France delivered some outstanding, ground-breaking campaigns last year, including the innovative ‘Turnstile Turbines’ campaign – a takeover of a Paris Metro station for renewable energy company Iberdrola, where the team worked with engineers to turn ticket turnstiles into a renewable energy source. The French team also won a Glass Award for Change at Eurobest for its ‘Uncover’ campaign for maternity brand Frida, to change French legislation around breastfeeding in public.
— Maja Pawinska Sims
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