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I N F O french chamber of commerce in great britain the magazine for anglo-french business

february / march 2011

focus on marketing

building brands, winning customers

in this issue


Interview with

10th Anniversary

Ligne Roset

Jonathan Ross

5 minutes with

Chamber’s farewell message to the French Ambassador

Design pays dividends

Actor turned Director Richard Berry

Answers the Questionnaire de Proust

of the Chamber’s annual Franco-British Business Awards

Paul-André Rabate of CVA

There for when ‘if’ becomes ‘when’

At AXA we have always believed that being there for our customers when they need us most is the best way to build a strong financial business. We’re in the process of redefining every product and service we have to better serve our customers and to continue to deliver on our promises. So when the moment comes that we have to act on them, whether as a wealth management partner, an insurer, or as a healthcare provider, we’re always ready to show that actions speak louder than words.

Arnaud Vaissié


President, French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain, and Chairman & CEO, International SOS


would like to begin this Edito by recording my gratitude to our ambassador Maurice GourdaultMontagne, who is leaving this country for a new posting in Germany. We wish him every success there. HE Mr Gourdault-Montagne’s continuous support to our Chamber will be well known to all our members. His many addresses to our Ambassador Briefs, his speeches at many Chamber dinners, his participation in our Forums and other events have been very greatly valued and respected. His belief in our mission to build up and support the efforts of French business in this country has been crucial to its success. At the same time we extend a warm welcome to our new Ambassador, Bernard Emié, who comes from a posting in Turkey. We look forward eagerly to working with Mr Emié, a distinguished diplomat with an impressive career behind him. Mr Gourdault-Montagne was of course instrumental in arranging the visit of French Prime Minister to the UK in the middle of January. When François Fillon addressed the City of London, he sounded a clarion call for unity between two of the EU’s major powers. His message carried particular importance as it heralds the message France will deliver as President of the G20. He touched on three key areas. He first called for greater appreciation of the defence treaty between France and the UK, signed in November. ‘France wants to harness the full potential of her partnership with the UK’, he said. ‘Our defence cooperation is of a kind existing only between sister nations.... we’re embarking on a path of even closer ties that preserves our respective sovereignty. I’m convinced people don’t grasp the full extent of the interaction achieved by our defence industries.’ Ties between two nations will strengthen, stretching beyond the area of defence, and into commerce. ‘There are no obstacles to the strengthening of Franco-British integration, and no taboos surrounding it.’ M. Fillon expected links to grow between companies in the two countries. ‘For too long, European standards have been accumulating without any overall vision of their effects on companies. Together, the French and British can change this situation.’ We, at the French Chamber of Commerce, entirely endorse this call for growing partnership and unity between our two countries. These are difficult times for economies, and two countries with much in common can only gain by pursuing policies of mutual interest and support and learn from each other. Companies that wish to win in the market will pay particular attention to how they brand and market themselves. So this issue’s Focus on marketing and communications is particularly relevant. Turning from these large and important themes… The Chamber would like to draw members’ attentions to a full and exciting programme in the New Year starting with the most awaited launch of our website this week. Our forthcoming events include a Dîner des Chefs at le Manoir aux quat’ saisons on 7 March, under the aegis of our Luxury Club and a ‘member to member’ cocktail on 24 March. As we look forward with a growing degree of optimism to the coming period, may we all at the Chamber wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year! I

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issue 193 / February – March 2011

78 56

What’s on - Yohji Yamamoto at the V&A

5 minutes with  10 Paul-André Rabate



Questionnaire de Proust: Jonathan Ross

Four prizes crown a decade of rewarding excellence at the annual Franco-British Business Awards Case Studies 50 The selling power of fame 52 A kaleidoscope of ways to sell your goods

Success Story 28 Ligne Roset: doing it differently, by design

Founder & Managing Partner of CVA

News in the City 13 France and Germany: An axis for growth 14 Oil by the barrel, appellation contrôlée 15 Profile: Dr John Philpott, employment expert at the CIPD

News 17 Eurotunnel crowns 20 years with pleasing statistics 18 Michelin House celebrates its centenary 19 GDF Suez, through NuGen, to power up the national grid 20 VINCI to dig station tunnels for Crossrail 21 Raymond Blanc appointed Vice President of Orient-Express Hotels 21 Hats off to Hélène Darroze 22 Cercle d’outre-Manche’s latest report 24 The new French College: preparing to open more doors 26 UK Regional review 27 Coming out of recession: Avoiding pitfalls when recruiting new talent

Managing Director : Florence Gomez Editor-in-chief : Nicolas Kochan Assistant Editor: Lawrence Joffe Corporate Communications Exec : Hannah Meloul Graphic Designer: Prima Hevawitharane Advertising : David Lislet - Tel: (020) 7092 6651 Publications Assistant : Pauline Beroard Cover picture : © iStockphoto/Ziga Camernik Printed by : Headley Brothers Ltd Subscription : INFO is published every 2 months.

Are high-tech marketers racing ahead of their customers?

Marketing & Media 33 Timeline of advertising Marketing & Technology 34 Are high-tech marketers racing ahead of their customers? 36 Engaging customers through social media 38 Online or Offline? That oughtn’t be the question


Culture 55 56 58 59

Watercolour exhibition What’s on Book Reviews Interview with Richard Berry

Wine Press


@ the Chamber... 62

Advertising & Branding 40 Removing uncertainty in airport advertising 42 Creative agencies – the sleeping giants of economic revival? 43 Making mail part and parcel of your marketing success 44 Keeping your good name, and the cost of losing it 46 Marrying marketing and HR teams for total engagement

63 Chamber’s survey: high level of satisfaction 66 FBBA: Four prizes crown a decade of rewarding excellence. Winners’ profiles 70 Harrods sets the gold standard for retailing 71 Forthcoming events 73 Thierry Outin’s triple formula for promoting l’art de vivre 75 Worth the wait...the Chamber’s new website is here! 77 From the Chamber to the cheese trade

Cross Border Marketing 47 So near, yet so far! 49 Opening the door to 65 million consumers

78 with Jonathan Ross

Questionnaire de Proust

Editorial Committee : Aurélie Brault, Alexandra Ignatieff, Liz Ross Martyn, Michael Stuart & Tony Treacy.

Distribution : CCFGB members, Franco-British decision makers, Business Class lounges of Eurostar, Eurotunnel & Air France in London, Paris and Manchester.

Contributors : Aurélie Brault,Pascal Brighi, Bureau du livre de Londres, Clare Chappell, Leesa Fogarty, Stephen Haggard, Alexandra Ignatieff, Frédéric Larquetoux, Thibault Lavergne, Mette Loebner, Jeanne Monchovet, Liz Ross Martyn, Sarathy Sankar, Nick Suckley & Tony Treacy.

Editorial and Publishing Offices : French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain Lincoln House, 300 High Holborn London WC1V 7JH Tel: (020) 7092 6600; Fax: (020) 7092 6601

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Patron Members of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain


October 2009

 - info - february / march 2011

5 minutes with Paul- A n dré R ab ate

The CEO of a global manufacturing firm once likened Corporate Value Associates to a fighter bomber, ‘which you can use for complicated or dangerous missions... you can trust them to take you into the unknown’. Here CVA Founder and Managing Partner Paul-André tells INFO what makes his consultancy special...

What led you to found your consultancy?

My career began with the Boston Consulting Group in 1978. The following year I co-founded Mars & Company, and in 1985 I came to the UK to join the American-founded Strategic Planning Associates as Vice President and Head of European Insurance Planning. Two years later, I set up CVA based out of London. Today we have 350 people working for us in 16 offices around the world: roughly one third in each of Europe, Asia the USA. How would you typify your philosophy?

We strongly believe that a company’s Paul-André Rabate ‘raison d’être’ is to bring value to its customers. Our title Corporate Value Associates reflects our understanding that corporate value is the largest common denominator between customers, shareholders, employees and the community in general. Management succeeds when it creates and maintains the delicate balance between stakeholders’ competing interests. Our job is to help them manage this “value flow” from sector to sector. Could you give some examples of your approach?

We have just started work with a German company, the world’s largest adhesives manufacturer, whose products are used in anything from motorbikes to the wings of a giant

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Airbus 380. Our initial questions were therefore ‘why do the customers use this product, what does it mean to them and how much are they prepared to pay for it?’ Instead of imposing a result onto end-users, we assess their needs and behaviour. We make the client put itself in their shoes. End-users are not interested in a firm’s problems with competitors or the stock market. They just want to know why using adhesives makes sense. When we explain that it is ten times lighter than rivets or screws, they are persuaded, you make a sale, and the bike or plane is lighter, more efficient and more profitable. Do companies still fail to see how customers perceive things?

Product manufacturers were undertaking marketing as far back as the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, even though the term itself had not yet even been invented! But today, many companies have grown much bigger. Whilst I might spend 90 percent of my time worrying about my clients, the CEO of a large company spends the same amount of time worrying about his job, his shareholders and the government. Time is often wasted on internal differences of opinion, rather than on thinking about customers. Even when firms do consult with customers, they often dictate to them or become defensive about prices or “doing me a good deal…”

5 m i n u t e s with Paul-André Rabate

We propose something quite simple, but in effect it is like crossing the Rubicon. Rather than sitting on one side of the river and seeing the customer on the other side, you change perspective and suddenly you see a totally different landscape. The customer rightly wants to hear someone who understands his concerns, and doesn’t simply relay regulatory concerns and suchlike.

in Europe, and we have always kept our European DNA. We did not fluctuate with trends over the years, despite the buzzwords and internet phenomenon. Our foundation principles and our constant mantra remain the same. That allows us to be extremely efficient. After 23 years our clients still buy our services. CVA reports don’t rubberstamp your beliefs. When you hire us it is because you believe in our methodology. Your people are transformed. And yes, there is a French flavour, because I and many of my co-founders are French.

In prosperous years you have a sellers’ market; in a recession it becomes a buyer’s market

What other errors do your clients typically make?

Often suppliers set prices on the basis of costs rather than value. They overprice some products and underprice others. One critical input can cost little to make, but can have a price margin of 50 or 70 percent. CVA starts by saying ‘if I were the customer, how much would I pay, and when would I stop buying?’ Another error is to push features that you or your engineers treasure, but which your customer might not value at all.

Who are your main clients?

They cover large banking and energy groups, to auto companies, construction, mining and rolling stock. CVA clients include seven of the largest banks in the world and the world’s largest steel company. We work exclusively with a limited few per sector. How can giant firms empathise with customers?

Yet how easy is it to get inside the customer’s head?

It is a case of communicating as much as you can with the customer. Often companies hire people from their client-base, yet after twelve months these workers begin thinking with the mindset of the suppliers. Then all the benefit of hiring them is lost. How can firms raise their game to keep customers’ loyalty?

Firms must realise that customers only stay loyal if you show that you understand their needs. The first four clients of CVA are still our clients 23 years later. During a recession the supplier has to keep the customer, so the client relationship changes. In prosperous years you have a sellers’ market; in a recession it becomes a buyer’s market. The customer becomes king, so if you want to survive a recession, you need to be customer-centric a long time beforehand. Yet isn’t there a temptation to reduce promotion and marketing during a recession?

True, your indicators tell you to cut costs. But you have to think differently, like someone on an icy road who has to drive into the slide, and go against what his instincts tell him. Consultants also have to be customer-centric. We are usually the first to suffer in a recession. But firms that prosper are those who keep their good staff, and don’t lay them off. Would you say CVA was typically European or even French in flavour?

Most consultancies started in the US, but our origins lie

There is always a cultural dimension, so we ascertain how customers operate via a model called the NAB Tree: Needs, Attitudes and Behaviour. The needs of a manufacturer are the same whether you make cars in Germany, France, Japan or China, yet attitudes differ greatly. The more clients become global, the tougher they find it to liaise with the surrounding culture. When companies try to build bridges to obtain diverse customers, it can spark off a power struggle within the group, to the detriment of the customer. As a global, yet small company ourselves, we can easily build a consultancy team with a colleague from each of China, Japan, France, the UK and the States on board. This says to the client: we are “glocal” – that is, both global and local. That is why clients like using CVA. Can you sum up your guiding principle?

Always listen to the customer. And add value to and for him, instead of taking value from him. It sounds uncomplicated, almost obvious. But applying the lesson takes a lot of experience and requires much change in large companies. We are not here to deliver a cost reduction or a share appreciation, or to justify why a firm wishes to hire or fire 1,000 people… We help a company in the long term and in a sustainable way. Our competitive advantage lies in getting firms to come to their senses. I Interview by Nicolas Kochan Background: P-A R on “Value Flow – For the Commonwealth of All”

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AS A LONG-TERM PARTNER, WE STAND BY YOU THROUGH ALL YOUR STRATEGIC PROJECTS. “At Societe Generale, we are committed to developing long-term relationships through strategic dialogue and providing you with tailor-made services to meet your specific and changing needs. Whether you are a corporate or a financial institution, we combine our strengths to bring you the right financial solution based on our global advisory approach, spanning M&A, financing, risk and capital management. Through our worldwide network and in-depth sectoral expertise,



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we are here to accompany you in your strategic plans. Standing by you.”

We stand by you Société Générale is a credit institution and an investment services provider (entitled to perform any banking activity and/or to provide any investment service except the operation of Multilateral Trading Facilities) authorised and regulated by the French Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel “ACP” (the French Prudential Control Authority) and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers “AMF”. Société Générale is subject to limited regulation by the Financial Services Authority “FSA” for the conduct of its business in the UK. Details of the extent of its regulation by the Financial Services Authority are available from us on request. Société Générale benefits from the EC passport authorizing the provision of investment services within the EEA. This material has been prepared solely for information purposes and does not constitute an offer from Société Générale to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or financial instrument, or participate in any trading strategy. Not all financial instruments offered by Société Générale are available in all jurisdictions. This communication is not intended for or directed at retail customers. It is for professional investors only. Please contact your local office for any further information. © 2010 Société Générale Group and its affiliates.

news in the city

by Nicolas Kochan

||| Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose! We have had financial crisis and economic meltdown, we have sovereign disaster and currency wars. But what do we find as the dust settles on our pressurised companies and economies? Nothing more than those old European powerhouses of France and Germany are driving the Eurozone further forward than it has gone before. Recent figures from Germany’s Ifo Institute said the country’s business climate index hit 110.3 points in January, up from 109.8 points the previous month and the highest level since it started tracking sentiment 20 years ago. No less encouraging for readers of this magazine is that the French statistics agency was no less bullish. Its manufacturing sentiment index jumped 6 points, to 108. This is the biggest monthly rise since 1999. Curiously perhaps the French optimism is based on rather less substance than that of Germany. Whereas the German economy is growing at 2.5% (and some commentators say 3%) per year, whereas France is growing at 1.5%. Germany grew a dramatic 3.6% in 2010, a time when other countries were still in recession, or close to it. The powerhouse of Europe is keeping not just France afloat, but all mainstream European countries

© wikipedia/Brandenburger_Tor_abends

France and Germany: An axis for growth

Optimism • The German economy is growing at 2.5%

as well, say commentators. But given the particular historical connections between Germany and France, the spillover from German industrial strength seems to reach France quickest and most strongly. France, and indeed other trade partners of Germany would wish to mirror another feature of the German economy. That is falling unemployment; down from 7.7% to 7%. This is the beneficiary of greater domestic consumption and internal investment. I

||| Bankers used to talk in hushed tones about the Bonus season. Maybe that was because they would rather noone else knew or asked too many questions. Now the subject of bankers pay is on everyone’s lips – not least politicians – and the subject is as hot a media potato as the City has ever had to handle. The roasting of bankers has become routine. Viewers of the televised House of Commons Treasury select committee in January saw how little love was lost between MPs and Bob Diamond, the Barclays Capital chairman. He suggested the subject of bonuses has run its course; media stories have such short life-spans these days, Diamond may have his wish. I

© flickr/UK Parliament

Bankers’ bonuses under fire

Bonuses were debated at The House of Commons

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news in the cit y

© flickr/Jim Linwood

Bonuses: Project Merlin

The Morgan Stanley building in Canary Wharf, London

||| Governments and bankers are reputedly building a consensus around a policy to limit the scale, impact and moral hubris inherent in excessive bonuses. Talk is widespread of Project Merlin, a secret pact to manage bankers’ pay, where the institutions are allowed to pay many billions to employees, on condition they make restitution by way of greater acknowledgement of their social duties. Banks like Morgan Stanley are taking one route that carries more plausibility. This is a stock options strategy and it has two dimensions. First, recipients have to wait to receive them, so work done today is only rewarded several years down the line. Second, that work must be reflected in growth in the share price. The strategy has further benefits for the organisation. It suggests a remunerations policy that carries the patina of fairness and it induces the best employees to (in some cases) stay with the company. Everyone benefits: the big company as well as the big society! I

||| A bad post-New Year hangover for all investors in fine wine. An IMF report published in January shows that you would have done as well (even perhaps better) investing in crude oil! The report notes the growing enthusiasm for investing in wine as a way of diversifying a portfolio, but really it may be a false economy. The report says, ‘Fine wine prices are sensitive to macroeconomic shocks just like crude oil and other commodity prices.’ Indeed the writers of the report, entitled ‘A barrel of oil or a bottle of wine: how do global growth dynamics affect commodity prices?’ say the correlation between the two commodities has got closer since the financial crisis. Emerging markets are driving prices in both commodities, and if growth fell 4% in emerging economies, the oil price would fall 22% and wine 15%. The one compensation for this

© flickr/Chasing the Shot / Matt

End of an affair?

Britons are selling up

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||| Some more remarkable, and perhaps worrying property news. More than half of Britons owning holiday properties in the Eurozone are expected to sell up in 2011. They blame falls in rental income and a volatile currency. Canny buyers should look out for bargains. I

© flickr/slack12

Oil by the barrel, appellation contrôlée

A false economy • Wine investment

gloomy news is that you can always crack open a bottle of your best (if poorly performing) vintage to drown your financial woes. You wouldn’t do the same with your oil. I

London property bonanza ||| Happy news for owners of property in the south-east of England, especially those in London. Less happy news for everyone else. The value of London property accounts for a third of all housing, says an estate agents report. The value of homes in the boroughs with the most valuable properties, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, Camden, Islington and Hammersmith and Fulham, account for 14.5% of the value of all London properties. Surrey is the county with the greatest property value outside London. I

news in the cit y


Britain meets Eurozone on jobless The flexible British economy has typically enabled the country to keep its unemployment levels down, says Dr John Philpott, employment expert, at the CIPD. But recession is changing the picture, with alarming short-term effects.


ritain can expect to see an increase of 200,000 unemployed in the coming year, bringing the number up to 2,700,000 says Dr John Philpott one of the country’s keenest and best informed observers of Britain’s labour market. He is the chief economist at the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and has had some 30 years watching UK trends. The Eurozone average unemployment rate is 9% and the UK is likely to reach it, after a long period when the it had a 5.5% unemployment rate. Mr Philpott is more pessimistic about the employment outlook than the government or many observers, but he has the advantage of conducting regular surveys of employers both in the public and private sector. Most of the coming year’s unemployed will come from the public sector and Philpott has reservations about the pace of government policy of curbing Britain’s deficit. ‘The deficit needs to be dealt with’, he says. ‘But if you were to spread the pain over a longer period of time, you would find less impact on employment. The problem is that the private sector is weak at the moment, so it won’t be generating jobs to absorb the public sector unemployed. My preference would be for a more cautious approach.’ British employment numbers during the recession appeared to hold up despite the crisis. But Philpott is not sure the garden was so rosy. While the figures show that the UK remained relatively stable at 2,500,000, many people took wage cuts or cut their hours. Many young people also became students instead of joining the unemployment queues. Employment conditions will be difficult for the next two or three years, he predicts, but come the middle of the decade, he sees the UK bouncing back. This will be due to the resilience of the UK economy and the robustness of its entrepreneurial spirit.

Employment Expert • Dr John Philpott

Today’s controversy about banking bonuses is largely irrelevant as far as Mr Philpott is concerned. He says retain has tied its flag to the mast of the lucrative financial sector, and it cannot now afford to lose it. If the government really cares about cutting the size of bankers’ bonuses, it has two choices. It can either call the bankers’ bluff, and impose heavy taxes, taking the risk that they will leave. Alternatively, it can gather international agreement around a taxing strategy. The problem with the first, is that banking is mobile; the problem with the second, is that there are Asian countries who do not have the same hang-ups as the UK, or the West more generally, about paying some people large amounts of money. Dr Philpott has researched the French market and concluded that it is more productive than that of the UK, because employers spend more on training and education. The downside, he says, is that it favours what he calls ‘labour market insiders.’ Employees are more protected and there is less opportunity for younger people to break in. ‘The structural component of unemployed people is higher than that of the UK. If France became more flexible, more people would get jobs but they would be lower paid.’ I N.K

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Eurotunnel crowns 20 years with pleasing statistics

Breaking through • Britain welcomes France in 1991

||| In just a month after Eurotunnel celebrated its 20th birthday in Calais on 1 December last year, the company and Chamber corporate member announced particularly encouraging figures. Global revenues in 2010 increased by 26 percent to €736.6m, passenger numbers on Eurostar grew by 3 percent to 9.5m, and Eurotunnel Shuttles returned to its historic market share. Much of the success was due to the successful integration of Europorte’s new rail freight operators. The subsidiary recorded nearly €100m in revenues last year and the operator GBRf handled a record 529 trains over the same period. Most recently Europorte signed contracts to deliver an annual 250,000 tonnes of wheat and barley for the agricultural cooperative, Cerevia. The December celebration was certainly a joyous affair, with abseiling dancers gyrating on each side of the tunnel entrance, and a patriotic medley of national anthems played to 100 invited guests. Shuttle train drivers sounded their horns in salute as the ceremony recalled the moment in 1991 when two bores – one from each side of the Channel – were connected. Two years after the Queen and French President officially opened the 50.5km cross-channel link in 1994, the

tunnel was named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Besides praise for the tunnellers’ dedication and the civil engineers’ genius, perhaps the greatest joy came from a sense of troubles overcome. As Eurotunnel candidly admitted, problems emerged soon after the opening. For one thing, the tunnel cost £9.5bn to build, more than twice its original estimate. For another, ‘the company appeared to be in danger of foundering under a mountain of debt, which was only restructured at great cost to the original shareholders.’ The 2008 tunnel fire marked another setback. Yet few can deny that Eurotunnel has revolutionised the way Brits travel to the Continent and vice versa. Now the future seems rosier both for lorries and passenger operators. Commenting on the latest figures, Eurotunnel CEO Jacques Gounon said: ‘Despite the difficult economic situation, our market share across the Channel has been continuous and we have successfully integrated the new rail freight business’. The 250m passengers who have used the Tunnel since 1994 would probably agree, too, that it makes a popular alternative to taking the ferry to France. I

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© 2011 Michelin Tyre PLC

Michelin’s General Managing Partner Michel Rollier (right) and Sir Terence Conran (left) at Michelin House’s 100th anniversary

One of the famed Stained glass windows at Michelin House

© 2011 Michelin Tyre PLC

||| Almost as famous as the pneumatic man featured in its classic billboard adverts is Michelin House in South Kensington, a building which proudly celebrated its first hundred years on 20 January 2011. The building has many exceptional architectural and design features. For example, there are three enormous stained glass windows on the front elevation replicating advertising posters from the time featuring the Michelin Man. The building also has a series of 34 pictorial tile-work panels which decorate the exterior surface of the building and the walls of the former entrance hall and tyre fitting bay. These depict scenes from Michelin’s history. In 1940 the risk of wartime bombing led Michelin to remove the original stained glass windows and store them in their Stoke-on-Trent factory. But a post-war audit found them missing – a mystery yet to be solved! So today’s windows are replicas, the originals never having been found. Rightly regarded as one of the great sights of London, and also seen as an iconic touch of France in the British capital, Michelin House was originally opened a century ago in the presence of André Michelin and distinguished guests. Its sumptuous Art Deco design mark it out as a particularly original, inventive and eye-catching building. Joining Michelin’s General Managing Partner Michel Rollier at this January’s celebration at 81 Fulham Road was Sir Terence Conran, whose world famous design firm has used the building as its flagship since 1987. As Conran said: “Michelin House is the most extraordinary and beautiful building in London. It reflects the inspirations and dreams of a unique company who with humour, charm and ingenuity managed to cross boundaries to bring together motoring, travel and food and drink in such a romantic but natural way. Here’s to the next hundred.” Peter Snelling, Michelin’s UK Head of Communications, said: “The building has such a special place in the rich, cultural history of Michelin, and its innovative design makes it as much a landmark today as it was when first opened in 1911. We hope it continues to inspire and bring wonder to many more generations to come in the future.” The two guests of honour shook hands outside Michelin House to formally mark the start of the VIP evening held to commemorate 100 years of the iconic building. They were joined by a wide ranging audience of Michelin staff, industry representatives and Paul Everitt, the Director of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. An exhibition in The Conran Shop window recreates a garage, highlighting one of the original uses of the building, which at the time combined offices, warehouses, a distribution centre and tyre fitting bays, all in one location. I

© 2011 Michelin Tyre PLC.

Michelin House celebrates its centenary

External dusk • Michelin House on a summer’s evening


GDF SUEZ, through NuGen, to power up the national grid

© flickr/Gareth Davies/yorkshiregeek

||| The French energy giant GDF Carret has more than 30 years of SUEZ and two other major entities experience in the electricity and have joined forces to develop a large, gas industry, and he insists that advanced nuclear power station reducing CO2 emissions is a top priority. ‘NuGen is committed to in West Cumbria, northwestern delivering the secure low carbon England. Once their consortium, named NuGeneration, completes energy supply of the future, in a responsible and safe way.’ detailed plans, a final investment ‘We hope to draw upon the decision will be taken around 2015, expertise and knowledge that and the up to 3.6 GW plant may comes from the long tradition of well be commissioned by 2023. NuGen is committed to delivering the secure low nuclear power in West Cumbria’, GDF SUEZ’s partners in carbon energy supply of the future adds Vidal, by contributing ‘to NuGen are Scottish and Southern Cumbria’s “Energy Coast” vision and seeking strong and long Energy plc (SSE) and Iberdrola, the number one energy term relationships with local communities in West Cumbria.’ company in Spain. In October 2010 the UK government Together NuGen’s constituent members own and gave them the green light to develop the site, one year operate almost 10,000 MW of nuclear capacity across after they secured an option on the land. Spain, Belgium, Germany and France, and have more Olivier Carret from GDF SUEZ is now Chief Operating Director of the NuGen project, and Alfio Vidal, a former than 250,000 employees worldwide. Within the UK the firms collectively employ almost 40,000 staff, and manager of Iberdrola’s 1.092 GW nuclear plant near boast extensive experience in developing and operating Valencia, is its Chief Nuclear Director. Besides these Executive Directors, all three NuGen partners firms are thermal and renewable power stations. I well represented on NuGen’s management team.

Thales cheers Britain’s latest nuclear submarine ||| December saw the launch of Britain’s second Astuteclass submarine, an event warmly welcomed by Thales, whose sophisticated sensors and search-andattack sonar systems are key to the vessel’s potency. The 7,400 tonne HMS Ambush is the second in a fleet of Astute-class nuclear powered attack submarines. The Royal Navy commissioned its predecessor, HMS Astute, four months earlier. The Ambush incorporates two Thales CM010 non-hull penetrating electronic imaging optronic masts, as well as its Sonar 2076 system, which is regarded as the world’s most advanced, integrated sonar suite. In addition Thales provides emergency beacon buoys and ultra-high frequency satellite communications antenna. The French-based Thales will furnish equipment for the first four of an eventual seven Astute-class submarines. Alex Dorrian, CEO for Thales UK, commented ‘We will provide the sophisticated “eyes and ears” of the submarine, giving it an unmatched war-fighting capability’. Meanwhile BAE Systems, prime contractor for the Astute fleet, praised ‘the importance of establishing excellent working relationships with key suppliers’, such as Thales. In 2009 Thales generated €12.9 billion in revenues across 50 countries. Thales UK employs 8,500 staff based at 40

locations, and its 2009 revenues stood at around £1.5 billion. The year ended with more good news for Thales, when the Russian navy agreed to pay France some €720m for its first Mistral-class helicopter carrier, and €650m for its second. Both craft will be built at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire by the United Shipbuilding Corporation of Russia and DCNS of France. Thales owns a 25 percent share in DCNS, the remainder being owned by the French government. I

London’s best cheesemonger

Time Out

Delicious and unique CHEESES to impress your guests for any event


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© flickr/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

BNP Paribas focuses on clean energy

BNP Paribas has already invested in 50MW of solar assests

||| The French banking giant, BNP Paribas, has exceeded expectations by raising €160m through its Clean Energy fund this year. The fund was launched in 2008 and has already invested in 50MW of solar assets in Italy and onshore wind and solar investments in France and Ireland. The fund also favours small-scale hydro and biomass projects, but currently avoids offshore wind generation schemes, which carry higher risks. For the present the fund will concentrate on western Europe. It follows a ten-year buy-and-hold strategy that ensures the group will manage the asset for seven to eight years until cash returns stabilise. I

Antoine Frérot is appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Environnement ||| Henri Proglio informed the Veolia Environnement Board of Directors, which met on December 12, of his decision to leave the post of Chairman of the Board. Mr Proglio will remain a Board director. All the members of the Veolia Environnement Board paid tribute to the unbounded commitment shown by Mr Proglio towards Veolia Environnement, which he widely contributed to create and led with determination, energy and passion to make the company the global

leader in environmental solutions. In accordance with the recommendations of its Nominations and Compensation Committee, the Board decided to unite the functions of Chairman of the Board and of Chief Executive Officer. The Board of Directors therefore appointed Antoine Frérot Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Environnement. Mr. Frérot took on his new responsibilities on December 12. I

VINCI to dig station tunnels for Crossrail

© Crossrail

||| VINCI Construction Grands Projets and other partners in the BBMV consortium have won the €275 million contract (£235m) to build tunnels for the Liverpool Street and Whitechapel stations in London. The complex and challenging operation is part of the Crossrail project, which will provide an express rail

Whitechapel platform

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link running east-west across London in 2018. Work on the station tunnels is scheduled to start in February 2011 and will represent about 190,000 m³ of excavation and 60,000 m³ of concrete lining once completed in an anticipated five years. VINCI’s share of the contract is 36.7 percent, and consists of input from VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche. The latter has shown its geotechnical expertise in such projects as Heathrow Terminal 5, the Jubilee Line extension, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the refurbishment of London’s St Pancras railway station. For its part VINCI Construction Grands Projets is a world leader in work on underground rail tunnels, in Sweden and Belgium and on the Cairo metro. The other members of the BBMV consortium are Alpine Beton und Monierbau, Balfour Beatty and Morgan Sindall. I


Raymond Blanc appointed Vice President of Orient-Express Hotels ||| Orient-Express Hotels announced on December 2, the appointment of Raymond Blanc OBE, founder and chef patron of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a Vice President of Orient-Express Hotels. Mr. Blanc has had a close association with OrientExpress since the Company entered into a partnership with him by acquiring the equity of Virgin Hotels in the two star Michelin restaurant and 32 room hotel, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, in 2002. In his new capacity as a Vice President, Mr. Blanc will have a consultancy role throughout the Orient-Express portfolio of hotels, trains and cruises, working with existing teams to improve and enhance their culinary offering. The first such project will be at Orient-Express Hotels’ Santa Barbara, California property, El Encanto,

due to open in 2012, where Raymond Blanc is designing the restaurant and will oversee delivery of the concept. “Raymond is one of the world’s most talented chefs and he has an amazing track record of encouraging his colleagues on to greater achievement. No less than 25 Michelin starred chefs trained with Raymond at some point in their careers,” said Paul White, President and Chief Executive of Orient-Express Hotels. “Unlike many hotel companies, Orient-Express runs its own restaurants and the reason they are successful is because they really aren’t hotel dining rooms, but restaurants in the true meaning of the word. There are still many ways to enhance these offerings and I look forward to this opportunity to get more involved with my Orient-Express colleagues” said Raymond Blanc about his appointment. I

hats off to... Hélène Darroze awarded a second Michelin Star !

Hélène Darroze and her team have been awarded a second Michelin star for her restaurant, “Hélène Darroze” at the Connaught. It makes her the only female chef patron in the UK with two Michelin stars. Her London restaurant opened in July 2008 and was awarded its first Michelin star six months after opening. Darroze said: “From day one, The Connaught has fully trusted me and given me complete freedom to create a menu with dishes that I truly love. I live by the philosophy that the ingredients are the stars and you must treat them respectfully.” I The French Chamber is proud to have organised its first Dîner des Chef at Hélène Darroze at the Connaught last October and congratulates Hélène for her second star.

hello, goodbye...


he French Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome new members who have just joined us. We would also like to express our gratitude to members who have made outstanding contributions to the Chamber, but who are now moving on to different work or to retirement.

Emmanuelle Noyer joins Guerlain as new Managing Director ||| After four years at the helm of Guerlain UK and Ireland, Guy de Beaugrenier has relocated to Brussels where he is now Managing Director of Guerlain Benelux and Holland. Subsequently, Emmanuelle Noyer was appointed his successor in July 2010. Starting her career at LVMH over 10 years ago, as Marketing and PR Director for Guerlain, Emmanuelle then moved to Aqua di Parma in 2004 to set up the subsidiary in the UK as Managing Director. Having lead Aqua di Parma Emmanuelle Noyer Guy de Beaugrenier to great commercial success in the UK, Emmanuelle is now responsible for accelerating Guerlain’s growth within the local market whilst maintaining the brand’s luxurious positioning. I

Jim Waddington joins Dechert LLP and is Dechert’s main representative to the Chamber ||| Jim Waddington joined international law firm Dechert LLP as a London-based partner in July 2010. He advises commercial and investment banks and private equity and hedge fund clients in connection with finance and derivative transactions, credit default swaps, lending and borrowing arrangements, debt and equity offerings, insolvency and restructuring matters as well as fund formation and fund investments. He is listed in top tier legal directory Chambers UK as a leading lawyer for capital markets: structured finance. I Jim Waddington

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Cercle d’outre-Manche makes six suggestions to increase employment rates for young people and 50+ in France ||| In its latest report, Premier emploi inaccessible, retraite précoce, six mesures pour changer la donne (Editions Studyrama), the Cercle d’outre-Manche suggests six ideas, based on some British successful labour market practices, to raise youth and senior employment rates in France.

For young people: Making minimum wage more competitive for unskilled young workers There is only one minimum wage rate in France, which applies to everybody, young or older, while the UK has three different rates for youngsters, depending on their age. This certainly accounts for part of France’s high youth unemployment: most companies are reluctant to hire unskilled young people at the very same price as any other more qualified workers. Introducing different minimum wage rates for youngsters, while reducing both employee’s and employer’s contributions, may halt the worrying levels of youth unemployment in France. Promoting short study programs to foster swift professional integration on the labour market On the whole, British students graduate and enter the labour market more quickly than the French. Yet French short study programs (e.g. IUT) have proven highly effective in terms of professional integration: with low dropout rates and better employment rates immediately after graduation, they are now considered a success. To encourage students to choose short study programs, it is perfectly possible to make it compulsory for higher education institutions to disclose how they 15-24 year olds: temp and perm employment (2010)

ensure that graduates find employment. Those who can show they are most labour-market friendly would be rewarded with public funding.

For 50+: Implementing age discrimination legislation to prevent age-related redundancies British employers are usually more careful to ensure that their redundancy policies don’t directly or indirectly discriminate against older workers, partly because they are concerned not to be deprived of technical know-how. French labour laws lack an effectively enforced age discrimination legislation that would bring to an end the long-standing tendency to undermine the company’s age-sex pyramid. The British code of practice on age diversity in employment is a good place to start. Overhauling the “Cadre” legal status which is a hindrance to senior employment The ‘cadre’ is a legal status in France for executive-like positions whose salaries keep rising with the years. The British equivalent of “cadre” see their salaries rising as the years go by but, unlike their French counterparts, the British experience a 20% average wage slump between the ages of 50 and 65. The decrease in salary can be matched by the flexibility of employment (less working hours, working from home etc.). This British model appeals to recruiters and enhances the employability of older employees on the labour market. Overhauling the ‘cadre’ legal status in France would help remove a serious financial hindrance to senior employment and foster labour market fluidity.

55-64 year olds employment rates (2009)

low wages in france & in the uk (2009)















Permanent Employment





Temporary Employment

Source: OCDE, Eurostat

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Net pay (£)

Gross salary (£)

French minimum wage Source: Eurostat 2009

Total labour cost (£)

British minimum wage

Source: Loe Pay Commision, Acoss, Dares, Cercle d’outre-Manche


Bilateral For young people and 50+: Developing modernised companionship through legislative flexibility Legislative flexibility has allowed the British to develop new forms of apprenticeship that benefit both older and young people on the labour market. A legal framework for modernised companionship could be implemented so that employers would offer part-time jobs to their older workers and quality professional training for their younger employees.

Allowing companies to manage their own professional training needs France has a fairly restrictive system which requires all companies to fulfill the same legal obligations. Things work more smoothly in the UK, where employers are free to manage professional training according to their needs. French companies could take advantage of new qualifying agreements signed between companies and higher education institutions in order to foster certificate courses and vocational training. I

The Cercle d’outre-Manche (CoM) Created in 2004 the CoM is a group of French business leaders operating in the UK and France. The CoM is organised as a think tank and its purpose is to compare the social and economic conditions of the two countries. In particular, it is attempting to develop a benchmarking approach in order to depict the best practices in both France and the UK.

‘Support our efforts to defend the Euro!’ Francois Fillon’s message to London ||| The French prime minister François Fillon made a state visit to the UK in the middle of January. The visit was hailed as an important bridge-building exercise between the French and British governments. The Prime Minister sought to secure British support for the euro, whose fragility has accentuated as a result of recent problems in Greece and Ireland. But more than this, the visit was seen as securing the excellent relationship between President Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron. Prime Minister Fillon made these statements to the Prime Minister himself, to the French Community in London and to the City of London. This was a wide audience for a man who is well known in the UK after a number of recent visits. Mr Fillon pointed out to the French community that the 17 Eurozone countries must increase the coordination of their economic and social policies - despite worries over a deepening debt crisis within the bloc. He also urged Britain, which is not currently a member of the euro and is not considering joining under the current administration, to support the push for cooperation. He told journalists: “The euro does not need to be saved, the euro needs to be defended” and also said that “What we need is to strengthen our cooperation. The Eurozone governments need to put in place a strategy which enables us to harmonise our fiscal policy and how we organise our economies.”

François Fillon stressed the need for Europe to fight as one to ensure that in the years to come, Europe will still remain strong. He also mentioned the growing economic threat of the Asian countries and the fact that China was on course to overtake the US economy. In a public summary of his meeting with David Cameron, Mr Fillon expressed the hope that there would be further meetings between leaders of the two countries: ‘We must have more frequent meetings between our two governments. We must do so all the more because the quality of Franco-British relations has reached a level rarely equalled, particularly thanks to the Franco-British summit in London and the historic agreements reached on defence, which I’ve repeatedly said could take place only between two sister nations – i.e. nations whose level of trust is such that they can pool things as fundamental as their security.’ His expression of support for the Euro was powerful and unconditional. ‘We must move from statements and agreements in principle to actually implementing the mechanisms which will allow us to monitor what the States are doing, and if necessary get them to change course as required. If tomorrow there were to be extra needs, what I’ve said, what President Sarkozy has said several times, and what the German Chancellor has also repeated is that we’ll do everything to strengthen the euro – everything, absolutely everything necessary.’ I

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| Schools

The new French college: preparing to open more doors When the Collège Français Bilingue de Londres (CFBL) has its ‘topping out’ ceremony on February 11, one further stage will have been completed in a ground-breaking project for French education in Britain. Here Arnaud Vaissié, the President of the Trustees of the new school, as well as the Chamber’s President gives us a flavour of the new institution. ||| INFO: Could you give some background to the setting up of the new college. Why is it so necessary?

London has 250,000 French people, making it the seventh largest city in France. But the French education system in the UK has reached its full capacity. The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle (LFCD) has refused around 1000 applicants last year. So a think-tank on education called Plan Ecole was launched to assess the French school system in Britain. Participants in the Plan Ecole were the French Embassy, representing the French state, the elected representatives of the French community, the parents of students and the private sector. Schematic of the Collège Français Bilingue de Londres

Could you explain the role of the private sector in the project?

The French state cannot fund a new French school in London, but the French community is still very attached to the French education system. So this is a remarkable example of a Private Public Partnership, which has been organised over the last couple of years. Private businesses have financed the college. Three of the large French banks operating in London, BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Crédit Agricole have each lent a third of the required longterm money. They have obtained a guarantee from the French Treasury. Fifteen companies have funded it with seed capital. This is a highly ambitious project, entirely funded by the private sector but in complete harmony with the public sector, bringing capacity and a new approach to French education in the UK, for the French and Francophone population. How did the plan for the new college progress?

A management team was put in place, led by Frédéric de la Borderie, working with the cultural and deputy cultural counsellors in the French Embassy. We found a former college of the University of London in Kentish Town in North West London. This was purchased last October

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2010. It needed massive renovation and an extension. The total cost of the project is £26m. It will open with 700 places in early September 2011 and will incorporate the primary school ‘L’ile aux enfants’, which will leave its current premises and move to the new school. This is a milestone project as this is the first large new school since 1915, in the French community in London. What is the significance of the school’s bilinguality?

The school will follow the French curriculum but at the same time it will be a bilingual school, the first bilingual school in London and pretty much around the world. In the primary school, teaching will be 50:50 French English. It will be 40% English and 60% in French from sixième. There will be a massive English component. The school will also be driven by IT, with lots of work and relationships with teachers carried out by email and over the internet. There will be very ambitious social and cultural activities. The idea is to draw the best of the two systems, the French system which has academic rigour, together with the openness, the inter-activity and the dialogue of the English. It is a first, and hopefully it will bring new ideas to the community.


The bilinguality is the recognition that, in the future English is not negotiable for the French as a language. It is giving us an edge. Because if we do so, if we master English well enough, we get an advantage over the British because we will have two languages and most of the British don’t bother learning another one. We can turn this to our advantage because English is and will be the working language of the future, at least for Europeans. Could you explain the school’s governance structure?

The CFBL is managed by a board of trustees. The suitability of this board is guaranteed by the fact that the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain has appointed half of the Trustees including the President, the Treasurer, the Corporate Secretary and all have a casting vote. The other half of the trustees are appointed by the parents. Two charities are involved in the project. The first is FEPT (French Educational Property Trust) which has three trustees who are Jean-Pierre Mustier, Richard Fairbairn and myself. FEPT, which has raised the capital and purchased the school, rents it out to the second charity, of which I am the President. The project has been undertaken in complete agreement and harmony with the LFCD.

the British education system or the French system. It will prepare people for working in the private sector. All the children will know how to type and will be very much at ease with new technology. They will interact with teachers through the new technologies whereas it is hardly the case yet in more traditional institutions. How will the fees compare with those of the LFCD?

They will be very similar. For school year 2011 - 2012 fees will be £6000 for nursery level and £5400 for primary and secondary school, which is less than half that of a British private school. This is because it is partly funded by the French state and banks loans (on good terms) and this drives down the costs and makes them more reasonable. What is the role of the French State?

What is the structure of the education?

The French State will second a number of teachers from the French education ministry to the school, as well as the Principal. They come out of the French system. It is a subsidy and a guarantee of adhesion to the French curriculum. The Board of Trustees (half come from parents and half come from representatives of businesses appointed by the board of the Chamber) directs the school. So the parents’ requirements are understood as well as the commercial reality.

The students will rise up the school from elementary to the third grade where they will have automatic access to the LFCD for the last three years of the secondary school, running up to the baccalauréat. The LFCD is directly managed by the French state and therefore is more representative of the traditional French education system. The Collège Français Bilingue de Londres (CFBL) not only aims to be academically excellent, but will also benefit from the assets of the British system, including English, IT, Sport and social activities. It will open up the system so that pupils can either carry on through

Actually, a large part of the French community already lives in North London, mostly people who work in the City. The opening of the new the new school shall encourage more French people to live in the North, rather than the South West, the traditional habitat. It shall also be an opportunity for the French community to find cheaper housing as the South West is so expensive. And it is ideally located a few minutes away from the Eurostar station. I

How significant is the location in North west London?

Practical details about applying to attend the new College Parents who are interesting in sending their children to the CFBL are advised to make their applications as soon as possible. Mr Francois-Xavier Gabet, the college’s director and headmaster, says those selected will have been on the waiting list longest. Classes for the younger age groups (5 to 7) are filling up fastest. The school educates children between the ages of 5 and 15 (the troisième). The school has a policy of selecting the following categories of student: 1. Because the college is supported by the French government, it is required to give priority to French students 2. It gives priority to siblings of students at the school 3. It is open to students who currently attend AEFE (the agency for French education abroad) schools. Information about the college can be found on the website, Until the college is opened (it is currently under construction), parents should contact ‘L’Ile aux enfants’ school, (+44 (0) 207 267 7119) where administration for the new college is located. Parents and prospective will be invited to attend an Open Day at the new premises, once the college is open.

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uk regional review

© flickr/Jo Jakeman

||| Some 800 new jobs resulting from two Invest Northern Ireland-backed initiatives should greatly boost the region’s economy. First, in November, First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness announced that Citi would create 501 jobs in a major expansion. They released this news when opening Citi’s new offices in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

The Titanic Quarter

The global banking giant has since 2004 employed more than 900 people in Belfast who service the legal, operational and technology needs of Citi offices and clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Invest NI offered Citi almost £8.4million of support towards the creation of these additional high quality jobs, which should inject £16m of salaries into the local economy. Then in December Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster announced that the Irish firm Rigney Dolphin would set up a new customer service centre in Londonderry. This scheme will create 297 jobs and should generate more than £4m in salaries. The Waterford-

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headquartered company serves blue chip firms with payroll, HR and back office support services. Foster praised Invest NI for contributing £1.23m to a project that “reinforces our growing reputation as a high quality, cost-competitive location for global businesses.” US Economic Envoy Declan Kelly added that the centre “signals the confidence international companies have in Northern Ireland”. He predicted that “over the next five years Northern Ireland can become one of the fastest growing economies in the world on a per capita basis.” I

Online and in the valley, Wales is open for business ||| “Delivering a Digital Wales” is a new strategy just launched by the Welsh Assembly Government that should help businesses and individuals in Wales capitalise on the multi-million pound opportunities of the internet age. In addition to promoting economic growth, the strategy encourages customerfocused applications and more affordable online public services. All local businesses should gain access to ‘next generation’ broadband by 2016, and by 2020 all households ought to attain basic digital literacy, the Assembly announced. A dedicated Digital Wales website focuses on e-commerce and the law, and IT applications for business. It also explains how ‘cloud computing’ can help firms leapfrog existing technology and reap quick benefits in cost and convenience. I

Think pink: Scots salmon swims to success ||| Things are going swimmingly well down on the farm – the Scottish salmon fish farm, that is! Nine out of ten firms in the sector reported confidence about future demand, according to a December report. The companies spent £296 million on services and £29.5m on capital projects in 2010. In 1992 Scottish farmed salmon became the first – and for ten years the only – non-French food to gain the French government’s Label Rouge mark of distinction. More than 1.3m Scottish salmon were exported to France in 2007, out of a total export that year of 10m. “This wonderful fish has a delicate flesh and unrivalled flavour that make it the perfect ingredient”, enthused French master chef, Michel Blanchet.

© flickr/JScottish Government

Double jobs boost for Londonderry and Belfast

A success • Scottish Salmon

Scott Landsburgh, CEO of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, was proud to see the fish recognised in France, “the gourmet capital of Europe”. He also noted that “remote, rural communities depend on a successful, sustainable and profitable salmon industry.” Salmon represents about 40% of all Scottish food exports and sales are set to grow beyond £1bn in 2011. I

legal corner

Coming out of the recession: Avoiding pitfalls when recruiting new talent Legal, personnel and commercial criteria influence a company’s recruitment policy. Clare Chappell of TWM solicitors, advises the human resources departments to beware of the details.


ow that we appear to be coming out of recession, businesses are once again considering expansion and investment. In addition to the commercial issues, such as ensuring you have in place the right business strategy going forward, it is important to determine your staffing requirements to fulfill those commercial aims. Commercial questions to ask include: what sort of culture does the business currently have and what are you looking to engender going forward? What formal qualifications and experience are required for each post holder? How will you ensure that new recruits fulfil the required specifications? On the practical side, these questions translate into issues such as ensuring you have appropriate proof of a candidate’s qualifications; and ensuring you carry out an adequate application and interview/assessment process that works for your business and results in the right person being recruited. Overlaying these are legal issues, including discrimination and illegal working. Individuals, including candidates, have the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability, or age. For instance, do not ask a woman who appears to be of childbearing age whether she intends to have children (potentially discriminatory on grounds of sex). Do not include a request for date of birth on your application forms (potentially discriminatory on grounds of age). The Equality Act 2010 severely restricted the use of pre-employment medical questionnaires, which can still be used but only in certain circumstances. Always ensure that you take full notes at interviews/assessments, so you can show why you decided to reject a particular candidate, and that the

reason was non-discriminatory. In addition, you should always check whether recruits have the right to work in the UK, by carrying out identification checks in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. If an individual needs a visa or other immigration permission to enter/stay in the UK, it may be illegal to employ them, or you may need a Sponsor’s Licence under the immigration Points Based System before recruiting them. Offers of employment should be made subject to satisfactory document checks, and these checks should be carried out before an individual starts work: employers cannot be liable if they have not actually employed an illegal worker. The implications of failing to comply are potentially significant: employers can be liable for fines of up to £10,000 and criminal sanctions include imprisonment. It is of course much more straightforward to recruit EU resident workers into the UK, but document checks should be carried out in all cases, to avoid allegations of discrimination. We recommend that policies and procedures are put in place to support recruiting managers and aid compliance. These should include clarification of who is involved in the recruitment process; what methods will be used (interviews, assessment centres, application forms) who can issue offers of employment and contracts; and whether external recruitment consultants are to be used. As well as building document checks into the process, you should consider whether you need to request detailed references from previous employers, and whether Criminal Records Bureau checks are required. I Clare Chappell, Senior Associate, Employment Team, TWM Solicitors LLP

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success s t or y

Ligne Roset: doing it differently, by design Careful craftsmanship, concern for customers, conservative management... Ligne Roset has carried the flag for French furniture making into the modern marketplace. As Bruno Allard explained to INFO.


igne Roset has just finished celebrating its 150th birthday. But there is no hangover after the celebration. This is a company as fit and youthful as ever. The designers of its furniture are still world class like Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec and Inga Sempe. Their designs grace its London stores, just as they grace the many hundreds of Ligne Roset stores around the world. Recession has taken its toll, but such is the company’s adherence to quality, that it has outpaced and outsurvived many rivals. Ligne Roset has been in the UK since 1980, and today it has its place in many London streets. The Mortimer Street branch, in Central London, notches up the best numbers per square metre of any shop anywhere. The City showroom in Commercial Road is one of the largest in Europe. Values as old as business itself – but anomalous in today’s cut throat commercial environment -- have proven their worth at Ligne Roset. This is a business that exemplifies the conservatism of the family

World Famous • The Pumpkin Sofa

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business, the absolute triumph of design over caution, and the power of local over the centre. Bruno Allard, the head of the UK operation, says, ‘Ligne Roset does it differently to anything you will find in any company management textbook.’ The importance of family continuity cannot be overemphasised in understanding the remarkable culture. Today’s members of the Roset family at the helm of the business, Pierre and Michel, are fourth generation. But their sons, Antoine and Olivier, aged 29, have already joined the firm and settled (respectively) into commercial (in the US branch) and finance positions. They work in the same area of France as the family founders, Le Bugey, near Lyon. Headquartered in Briord (Ain), there are six factories and most Roset employees live in the area. Many, no doubt, have served the business for many generations. The Rosets began making material for French ladies’ umbrellas in the middle of the 19th century. They proceeded to make excellently crafted furniture, but in the twentieth century began to craft furnishing accessories, like lighting and mirrors. They became ‘cool’ in the 1960s, when they associated themselves with Marilyn Monroe and Jacques Seguela. They acquired unusual fame in the latter part of the last decade by providing the sofa, called the Togo, that became the hallmark of the Big Brother TV set. Bruno says, ‘Togo has been our iconic product since 1969. It is a best seller, our Chanel No. 5, it is an ever lasting product. It is 100% foam, casual, post-Hippie, the cool way to live.’ For all the celebrity, this is a reserved company at heart. The business preserves its family culture by committing itself to complete independence. The

success story

family owns the entire company, and it vows never to become indebted to banks or other investors. ‘We don’t owe anybody any money. The funds we make we keep,’ says Bruno. ‘We are committed not to buying any other business. We will never be taken over.’ Such caution has worked well for the firm, which Bruno says turns over €200 million, annually. ‘We are not large or small, but deliberately in the middle. This suits us well.’ The command of the creative department is held by Michel Roset. ‘If Michel wants to introduce any new designs, if he wants to work with Jean Nouvel, then he doesn’t need to check if the product is commercial. He can say, “I want to do something in the design industry. That is it.” Michel’s brilliance has ensured the Bruno Allard • Head of UK Operations company goes outside the box. Today it is regarded by times, he says, the company has even had its logo the industry as the pace-setter in design. Bruno points to presented differently in different locations. the recent triumph of Inga Sempe who produced a sofa The power of local managers (and the indifference that was higher than normal designs, more feminine of the centre) can, admittedly sometimes work in than the typical product and less overtly padded. The strange ways. So when Bruno laid out his plans for an result: a winner of numerous prizes. ‘She arrived and on-line selling presence to his other country directors, she designed it. It’s not the most commercial product. he was cold-shouldered. His colleagues in the US and Michel can decide to commission what he feels is right. France wanted nothing to do with it. They come from Every year I am surprised by the creativity, the risk. The a conservative tradition of design questioned by Bruno, more difficult the market, the more we take risk.’ which holds that customers want to see and feel their Designers flock to present their ideas to Michel, purchases, and online only cheapens the selling process. sometimes merely offering paper drawings and Bruno was told by his French colleagues that he could prototypes. But Michel has the sort of eye that can set up his online presence in the UK, but it should not spot a winner. He takes young designers rather than impinge on the other markets. He is waiting to see how established stars, and people who are not attached to this paradoxical (surely untenable) position works out, existing firms. The best of his choices become design vis-a-vis his French and American counterparts, when stars. Many young designers have had a chance to he launches it in the coming year. Meantime he pushes shine at Ligne Roset, as the firm works with some ahead with some high-tech solutions to promoting his 60 designers each year, and each product is made by furniture with Sony and Playstation. a different designer. The needs of the product and its He also looks constantly at ways to promote the brand design are paramount, trumping commercial criteria at and make revenue. So he recently launched a contracting times. So the company will make proprietary machinery arm for Ligne Roset. This provides a service to provide that makes the product if that is required. The result is furniture for hotels and other players in the hospitality not merely excellent workmanship – it prides itself on sector. He is currently working with Hilton and Marriott; its sewing and on the quality of its foam – but it is also indeed, he has been asked to quote for a job involving the unfakeable, security proof. entire furnishing of a 650-room five star Marriott, with a Outside design, the directors have little interest in deadline of completion before the London Olympics. the ‘banalities’ of day-to-day management. This is left The text books would say that originality and design to country managers, and they have a quite remarkable can take a business so far, before a wayward manager degree of autonomy. They choose the sites for their decides to push it beyond what’s commercial and the stores, without reference to headquarters. Bruno business is lost. Ligne Roset’s experience, 150 years on, says the centre takes no interest in how he runs his shows the text books can be wrong. May they prove operations as long as he makes his budgets. At different that for many more generations. I N.K.

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f o c us




building brands, winning customers Introduction


ecession poses a greater challenge to the marketing budget than any other budget. When the pressure from finance is most intense, the marketing formula of advertising, promotion, public relations and communications can look both fragile and very expensive. The marketing executive can show sales figures and product turnover, but how does he show that the product would suffer if that advertising was less high profile or less frequent, or less luxurious, or if the advertising agency was changed to someone cheaper and less prestigious. The finance man might even argue for a cut in the budget and the removal of marketing altogether. In short, the benefits of marketing are intangible. They are embodied in phrases like ‘maintaining your image’, ‘keeping your customers loyal’, ‘managing your profile’ and the like. The finance man struggles with concepts that may sound vague. The best businesses must be believers in marketing, and the many authors in this focus show the importance of the discipline. Too often the marketing man is forced to argue the negative, rather than the positive. Marketing is important, but it is also expensive. And in the Saffrey Champness article, we have an argument for greater rationalisation and discipline. While the good times roll and the markets seem infinite, the push to make the most and spend the most is strongest. The creative department is not easily reined in until the tide turns and the sales figures tell a negative story. Recession is clearly not the time to cut back completely, risking a loss of face, but it may also present an opportunity to turn a cold eye on the marketing budget and assess its real value. This Focus asserts that marketing is not the disposable asset that some may argue. The benefits, as we see from a number of articles, can be quantified using serious

methodologies. Here, the marketing technologies are coming to the aid of those that would defend the budget. The use of the internet, of social networks and email provide a new frontier, a new challenge to the forward thinking and creative manager. Social and cultural values are inherent in the creative nature of marketing and communications. In articles by a number of agencies in our Focus, we see how companies seek to overcome national barriers and norms. The power of British advertising and agencies has proved a national asset, while its pragmatic marketing approach is admired by French luxury companies. French values of style, craftmanship and presentation have won world fame. Marketing and communications provide the messages for our times. The recession will damp the zeal. But the marketplace has a resilience that is nothing short of remarkable. I

Focus contents 33 Timeline of advertising Marketing & Technology

34 Are high-tech marketers racing ahead of their customers? 36 Engaging customers through social media 38 Online or Offline? That oughtn’t be the question Advertising & Branding

40 Removing uncertainty in airport advertising 42 Creative agencies – the sleeping giants of economic revival?

43 Making mail part and parcel of your marketing success 44 Keeping your good name, and the cost of losing it 46 Marrying marketing and HR teams for total engagement Cross Border Marketing

47 So near, yet so far! 49 Opening the door to 65 million consumers Case Studies

50 The selling power of fame 52 A kaleidoscope of ways to sell your goods

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Š Photo credits: tim Shaw, VINCI and subsidiaries photo libraries.

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Gutenberg’s invention of printing press launches a rash of bill posting

The Ladies Diary magazine in Britain introduces small ads and then runs display ads for beauty products

1836 © flickr/Bain News Service, publisher

1938 Wheeler-Lea Act curbs false advertising in the USA; soon copied around the world

Integrated marketing communications gains academic status

1966 The football World Cup coincides with the mass adoption of colour television sets in the UK – and sparks a boom in creative TV ads

© wikipedia/Lineplus


© wikipedia/Nickshanks

First radio advertising (in USA?)

Advertising Standards Authority is established in the UK

A future US president, Benjamin Franklin, releases his Catalog which pioneers the mailorder concept of ‘customer satisfaction guaranteed’

Scottish-born Thomas Lipton imports and sells off in his London shop the largest cheese in the world, capping a decade of pioneering work in marketing gimmicks. That Christmas he created a buying frenzy by hiding gold coins in some of his cheeses.





© flickr/Darren Kirby/bulliver

© wikipedia/BnF Import

Émile de Girardin starts La Presse in France, the world’s first cheap, advertisingsupported daily newspaper

© wikipedia/Joseph-Siffred Duplessis


1998 Foundation of Google, soon to become a leading vehicle of online advertising


© wikipedia/William Warby

© wikipedia/

Timeline of Advertising

Lester Wunderman coins the phrase ‘direct marketing’ while addressing the NY Hundred Million Club

1982 Home Shopping Network opens in Florida, ushering in a new age of direct television shopping

2011 Facebook, increasingly a hub of social media marketing, boasts 500 million users and new investment by Goldman Sachs amounting to $50b

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Part One: Marketing & Technology

Are high-tech marketers racing ahead of their customers? Facebook and other social networking sites have unleashed a Pandora’s box of marketing techniques and opportunities. But companies struggle to understand the impact of the new media on their brands, while consumers don’t quite trust the new Big Brother Branders, says Stephen Haggard.


eath certificates were written for a whole generation of marketing folk in 2009, when America spent less of its GNP on advertising than in any year since 1975. What’s emerged since then is a new kind of conversation between brands and consumers, and it is both scary and exciting. Start with the thrills. It’s mindboggling, what ways of reaching people are on offer from the new platforms of mobile and social media, and what technologies now exist for getting audiences to change their behaviour. Your smartphone serves you advertising that reflects your location and route, and your Facebook page uses what it knows about you, to place messages even onto your friends’ pages. Media brands get dizzy just looking at the growth in audiences. Facebook added 200M new users in one year, there’s triple digit growth in readership for The Guardian’s mobile service. Most agencies have a great patter for talking up the prospects for more effective marketing and in Adland the money is flowing freely. Bizarre hybrid campaigns are mushrooming in the landscape. Here’s one to watch out for. Take a market like youth – notoriously fickle and flakey. To reach these viewers wherever they are, broadcaster Channel 4 is spreading its stories across many platforms including its online youth site T4. Here, TV series such as Skins will run different online versions, and the viewers can

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change the storylines of the main TV episode by talking with the fictional characters using Facebook, Twitter and email. Channel 4 have done this because brands such as their launch partner Toyota want more than just spots in the TV ad-breaks. Toyota wants to communicate with audiences where they are most attentive, which is on social media. You can’t easily say what is content, what is feedback, what is marketing, and what is communications. All are devilishly intermixed.


The average number of friends a Facebook user has

While this crazy horse gallops down the New Media highway, the riders aren’t asking many questions. But I am. Here’s the first one. Money. Sorry to be a ghost at the banquet, but let’s ask what it’s worth paying for this kind of marketing. Because it’s so complex, and its boundaries are so blurred, no one knows how to measure it. Agencies and brands are being very tightlipped about what they’re spending, and what sales they are getting from it. In the absence of good commercial justifications, the Brave New World of social media marketing is powered by hype and coolness. That’s great for Soho businesses, but not for everyone else.

© flickr/Bryce Edwards

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Direct marketing is still a viable option

There’s hope for sanity, however, in the colossal quantities of data on who clicks what and when, which digital media spew out. Using an analytical prediction engine developed for detecting patterns in financial trading data, one of my clients is working with me on a benchmark for the effectiveness of New Media marketing campaigns. Z/Yen Group’s prediction engine, PropheZy, will crunch the data from these new kinds of marketing and rank their commercial effectiveness. I expect it will puncture a few bubbles, and egos. Credibility is my other nasty question. The marketing and communications budgets pouring into Facebook campaigns are all trying to leverage one psychological insight – that we are more likely to be influenced if our friends are talking warmly about a product, than by a straight display advert. And with the average Facebooker friend tally at 130, marketeers reckon that brands need to insert themselves in those “friend” conversations. They “buy” and “sponsor” key online contributors to be opinion formers. This is at best unproven, and at worst toxic. Perhaps it might, at first, raise the value of a brand if you hear about it through a friend on your online network. But ultimately it also cheapens the value of the friendships and lowers the credibility of the friend. I think people will react against it. The pioneers, such as Nike, did it cleverly with their “Write the Future” campaign that allowed wannabe footballers to use their Facebook

page to get noticed. But the vast majority are weak imitators, whose commercial push poisons the social atmosphere. People don’t tolerate marketing which is not clearly labelled, or whose penetration of their private space they cannot control. There are a few years ahead of wild experimentation as brands, agencies and channels work out how best to use the social media to reach and persuade a public that no longer tunes in to newspapers and TV. Slowly, it will settle down. Surprisingly, old-fashioned display advertising, which has now moved online of course, is an unexpected early winner. Thanks to live auction systems that allow advertisers to serve individual online readers an individual impression of personalised adverts in real time, the old business of display ads is doing nicely. Increasingly, the site you are visiting will allow a car salesman to put a banner on your screen for the car that suits your age, gender, location and pocket. They already know all about you, and in the microsecond it takes to finger your mouse on trigger-words such as a car brand name, the deal between the site and the advertiser to target your eyeballs with the car you are most likely to want. Marketing as we knew was written off for dead. And here it comes back from the grave to greet us with a smiling display advert. Perhaps it’s an old friend with a life-extension. Or perhaps it is a scary monster. I Stephen Haggard is an expert in Social Media. His clients include the Z/Yen Group, a city-based consultancy and think tank.

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Engaging customers through social media Online marketing is a double-edged sword: with so many platforms and devices, websites and blogs, opportunities seem boundless. Yet it is extremely difficult to predict outcomes. Here Tony Treacy describes the challenges when old world boardrooms meet new world technology.


© flickr/Irish Typepad

ne of the problems with the world is that it is full of approximations and maybes. There are ‘approximately’ 80 million websites. There are ‘about’ 500m Facebook members, and the earth orbits the sun at ‘around’ 30km per hour. Just like the earth’s speed of revolution around the sun (which actually varies throughout the year), predicting the result of a marketing campaign isn’t exact either. There is no magic formula to guarantee success; and there never will be. Predicting campaign success has also become harder because of the expanded number of marketing touchpoints in the digital world, opportunities to connect and communicate with people, and to promote products and services. These include places to broadcast creative content, video and music, such as YouTube; hundreds of

The retail landscape is changing as well as innovating

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blogs and message boards sites; sites that allow people to connect to each other such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace and Foursquare; and sites for publishing opinion such as Twitter and Technorati. In other words it is as diverse as human behaviour.

The unpredictability of interactivity But it is not simply the mind-boggling number of places to communicate that boggles marketing minds. What causes brands the greatest concern, or even alarm, is the way these new channels interact with people, and how interaction allows people to express positive and negative opinions about brands. Of all the new interactive digital touch points, social media probably tops the list of challenges. To some people it is irrelevant; a frivolous and pointless activity of little marketing value. For others it is the embryonic first glimpse of our digital future. Social media is unpredictable and uncontrollable. It requires a new approach compared to conventional marketing, such as advertising, where content is broadcast. But does social media justify marketing investment? Certainly the major brands think so, and some claim significant commercial success. Take Dell. Dell’s much vaunted use of Twitter is an example of a retailer building a commercially profitable relationship by connecting with existing customers using social media. But does building a community of followers (meaning existing customers) and slinging out occasional promotions to a warm audience truly demonstrate the value of social media as a marketing channel? Or is it

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being cynical to say that all they are doing anyway is selling to their mates? The point, of course, is precisely that. The fact Dell has ‘mates’ in the first place tells you more about their brand than watching any number of polished television commercials.

Openness and self-belief Companies with a social media ‘strategy’ talk about how it helps them build transparent and more open relationships with customers; and how this behavioural attitude is at the heart of everything they stand for. Those companies that don’t have a social media policy are often fearful of getting it wrong. They worry about letting staff express uncensored opinion; or even worse that social media will encourage customers to criticise them. This paralysis might say as much about a brand or a company’s self-image, self-belief and self-confidence as it does about a legitimate concern that can, after all, be managed given a bit of thought. But the problem isn’t just ‘in the head’ it is also on the balance sheet, because social media has no Return On Investment. At a time when other digital media has KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) falling out of its ears, social media can only talk the talk. 500 million users on Facebook is a lot of people. The average user may be logged on for five or so hours per month; and mobile Facebook application users may be twice as engaged as their landline-locked counterparts. But is Facebook a viable media for selling or promoting specific products or services?


number of websites on the World Wide Web

Less traction in the boardroom For big consumer brands the answer might be “yes,” as many also see social media as integral tools in terms of PR. Monsoon launched a campaign and used its Facebook page to defend its record on ethical procurement last November. In terms of business-to-business marketing it is harder to argue that having a Facebook strategy is essential because it has, by definition, a much narrower audience. But perhaps it does have a place as a tool for advertising products and other announcements, as long as customers are properly informed and incentivised to participate and “follow.” Customer interaction in digital marketing is not only confined to social media. 2D barcoding has added a new dimension to magazine and outdoor advertising. 2D barcodes are effectively a digital URL that can be

A 2D barcode (QR Code) for the MoreFromMarketing blog

deciphered by software that uses the camera on the mobile phone. It means customers can access rich content such as video, websites, download music or vouchers on the move with one click. The retail landscape is also innovating interactive relationships, driven by GPS-enabled smartphone applications that reward customers based on their current location. Voucher applications (for example vouchercloud) offer customers digital money-off vouchers at many high street stores and restaurants. The user downloads the free application, and once they have registered can redeem and spend vouchers in specific stores close by.

Immediate street-level advice A different approach combines social media communities and location-based promotions. Foursquare is a game, a useful tool to locate bars, restaurants and clubs near to wherever you are located; and a vehicle for businesses to promote offers to customers to incentivise them to visit; and of course Facebook announced how members could share their location with friends last August. In the future, price comparison applications will tell customers out shopping which local retailer offers the cheapest product, or has the most stock. There are big advantages in these more interactive promotional relationships for retailers and customers. Cost are relatively low, because producing digital content is relatively inexpensive, and also because most of the cost to the brand depends on the number of vouchers redeemed. I Tony Treacy is Senior Consulant at the marketing consultancy MoreFromMarketing Ltd.

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Online or Offline? That oughtn’t be the question While digital technology is growing, brand managers should not exclude offline marketing. Integration is vital, says Nick Suckley


he influence of digital technology is growing. Consumers lead multichannel lives after all (they watch TV, see billboards, surf the web and read the press) and it’s up to brands to reflect this behaviour in the way they communicate with people.

© flickr/Mark Cridge

Accountability New technology has had a profound effect on the way marketers behave. It’s brought a degree of accountability undreamt of even 10 years ago. It’s opened new

channels that didn’t even exist and it’s enabled people to talk (and sometimes bite) back to brands in a way that brands are still struggling to deal with. So, the last 10 years have seen a seismic shift in the relationship between people and the products they buy. However, it’s also introduced a few myths along the way. It is true that digital marketing is accountable in a way that other media are not. That does come at a price as many companies generate so much data, it is impossible to isolate what is important from what is not. Most data is irrelevant and gets in the way of finding real meaning. Worse still, digital marketing has benefited from a lack of comparable information from traditional marketing to the extent that money is spent in channels that “work” at the expense of other channels like TV and press. Now, we all know that TV and other offline media drive search, for example, but the lack of data makes it difficult to prove. Digital marketing isn’t especially cheap either. If you compare a standard measure of CPT (the cost of reaching 1000 people) you’ll see that traditional media are often cheaper. Search, which is bought per click, often has a CPT of tens or even hundreds of Euros, compared to traditional media where CPTs barely

Consumers lead multichannel lives

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reach double figures. It makes one wonder just how much more two lines of text on a search page are worth, compared to a full page ad or a TV spot. The fact we can track sales in one area distorts the overall picture, even though both contribute. So, accountability and cost are problems; what else is going on?

People are still the same What has changed is that the process of buying products (which we used to treat as predictable and linear) is now visibly more complex and far more difficult to predict. People consume so many more types of media that the biggest challenge facing marketers is understanding where to communicate (and in which mix) to achieve their goals. So, understanding your consumer lies at the heart of how to get the right balance of old and new. A recent IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) study showed how multimedia communication is effective and we believe that taking a portfolio investment-type approach is sensible to spread risk. Don’t rely on one channel (consumers don’t); rather reflect your consumers’ lifestyles in the way you talk to them. So, if they are heavily into social media then perhaps so should you. If they love magazines, then that too. Better still, use a mixture. Appetite For Risk For me, getting it wrong could mean doing too little as well as blindly jumping on the latest new trend. Up until now this new technology has been limited to web type media but the influence is growing; in time all media will be enhanced by digital technology. Successful companies will orient themselves around answering the following questions: • Which channels will best help me achieve my goals? • Where are my consumers and what are they doing? • Are my competitors active here already? • Do I have the capacity in my business to deal with it all? • Does my company’s risk profile mean it’s likely to do too much (or too little)? The adoption by marketers of channels like search, YouTube, social media and mobile were all preceded by mass consumer adoption. It’s clear that consumers will lead the way for brands and it is up to companies to understand this and apply it to their business. It is equally risky to do nothing in the face of overwhelming change as it is to do too much. Understand your consumer and they will show the way. I







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Part Two: Advertising & Branding

Removing uncertainty in airport advertising The airport is one of the busiest thoroughfares imaginable. So can advertisers turn the avalanche of passengers to their advantage? What pitfalls could be avoided? And can marketing generally learn lessons from the airport model? Liz Ross Martyn, Head of Communications at JCDecaux, shares her thoughts.


he media industry as a whole agrees that ceasing advertising spend in a recession is not a good idea. Advertisers need to continue to spend in order to be in a strong position during a time of recovery. And running advertising can also be seen as a positive statement of intent from a company, a belief in themselves and their product, and their capability to emerge from difficult economic times still able to deliver a valuable and necessary product or service to consumers. But, at the same time, inevitably advertising budgets are reduced, and advertisers take less risks on spend. They need the confidence that their media investments will deliver the audience they need in the right mindset

to receive their message. Media owners must justify why their particular offering should keep its place on media schedules. One of the most critical parts of this justification is proving the audience make-up, numbers and mindset delivered by a particular medium. If you like, removing the risk that a message will fail to meet its target. Understanding advertisers’ concerns, we have continued despite the recession to invest heavily in a three-stage process to prove the value and effectiveness of Airport media, and the make-up of and engagement with the audience it reaches. This audience is our end product, and what advertisers really want from what we sell.

© flickr/Lis Ferla / lism

Identifying airport “personality”

An effective advertising environment • Airports

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Firstly, we are fortunate in the detailed demographic information available from our concession partners, which allows us to identify the personality of each airport and terminal we sell. We know how many are flying, where they’re flying to, and who they are. This quantity of data proves that our medium delivers the audience in terms of weight of numbers and the right demographic mix, giving advertisers confidence in these critical factors. And the data also demonstrates that the audience is an exceptionally desirable one, notoriously hard to reach through other communication channels. It is upmarket, with a strong

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advertisers optimise their ad effectiveness by producing the first set of guidelines, rooted in comprehensive research, to what kind of media and what kind of creative was most effective in each location. Part two of AER – AER II – investigated how varying arousal levels affect actual involvement and engagement with the advertising, benchmarking recall of airport media against advertising in three other environments – shopping centres, Tube stations and magazines – by means of a standardised methodology.

A JCDecaux advertising billboard focus on business people, providing advertisers with proven access to an unprecedented C-suite audience of international travellers with high levels of income. However, secondly, we should show how consumers interact with and respond to the advertising messages they are exposed to as they pass through the airport. From personal experience, we all know the airport mindset is unique – we think and behave very differently in the airport to how we do in everyday life. The initial AER (Airport Ethnographic Research) study showed the different arousal (mental alertness) levels experienced throughout an airport journey.

Heightened Awareness At the airport, arousal levels are consistently higher than in ‘normal life’, leading to high advertising awareness. Different types of message are effective for the differing arousal levels found throughout the airport journey. By understanding arousal levels by airport zone – drop off, check in, departure lounge, gateroom, arrivals – we were able to prove receptivity and, what’s more, help • JCDecaux Airport UK media reaches 46% of all UK airport passengers (source: CAA 2009). • 31% of our passengers travel on business (source: BAA 2010). • Advertising at Heathrow Airport alone reaches 39% of all UK C-suites (source: BBS).

Completing the jigsaw When the environments were compared directly, we found the airport environment promoted the highest levels of arousal which translated into a high capacity to take in and process information accurately, and, vitally, the greatest levels of passenger involvement and engagement with the adverts seen, and expressed intention to purchase. So the investment in AER and AER II removed uncertainty for advertisers by proving that not only is airport media effective, it is more effective than other media opportunities in which they could invest. Having understood the way that our proven audience engages with airport advertising, and the mindset they are in when they experience it, the third and final piece of the jigsaw was to take this critical knowledge and use it practically to inform, develop and position airport advertising locations across our portfolio. Along with our partners we have invested heavily in the redevelopment of available airport media opportunities, and through the findings of both AER projects we have been able to site different kinds of opportunity in different locations, depending on what kind of messaging we know consumers are most receptive to in that time and place. We have simplified our proposition by classifying sites into ‘impact’ (dominant, iconic ‘statement’ panels), ‘broadcast’ (networks of panels that surround the airport user and achieve their effect through regular repeated contact) and ‘touch’ (interactive propositions that make a connection by drawing consumers into a dialogue), delivering the most effective communication channels within each particular airport zone because of the mindset we now know people are in at each location. By adopting a ‘less is more’ philosophy we have rationalised airport media to create a clean, uncluttered and impactful advertising estate across our airport portfolio, and one which, through our investment in research, we are confident delivers advertisers the standout, recall and therefore, audience, that they require. I

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Creative agencies – the sleeping giants of economic revival? Having weathered harsh economic storms, once dominant owner-managed creative agencies may well be emerging from recession leaner, wiser and more diversified. And that could be good for the general economy, argues Frédéric Larquetoux of Saffery Champness chartered accountants.


© flickr/ Blyzz / Jim Sher

he UK has had the largest creative sector in the EU, and relative to GDP, probably the largest in the world. 2In fact the sector accounted for 7.3 percent of the UK economy, which was comparable in size to that of the UK financial services industry. But what do we mean when we speak of the creative industries? And does past economic dominance guarantee future success? The Department of Culture, Media and Sport classifies the sector as ‘those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skills and talent, and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property’. As to how agencies weathered the storm, our Creative Industry Survey 2008 reflected overall confidence, despite the onset of the ‘credit crunch’. In fact, economic uncertainty pressurised the industry to accelerate the ‘digital revolution’… Two years later the 2010 survey helps us understand a much transformed and trying landscape for owner-

The creative sector in the UK is the largest in the EU

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managed creative agencies: • Half the agencies probably saw fees contract considerably, induced by client budget cuts and a generally tougher competitive environment • Pricing and margins as well as cash flows all came under stress • To maintain operating margins and overall profitability required a wide range of cost reduction initiatives • Agency partners and senior management reported decreased average remuneration and bonus-level incentives. Our latest survey shows that priorities now differ significantly, depending on whether the agency needs to secure its existence, to refocus its business, or to develop and to grow. However, amid a very adverse environment, opportunities have presented themselves to enable creative agencies to expand their service range and to attract new talents: • Diversification, adapting to increased client demands, and the quest to provide digital marketing services may well have proven to be life-saving • Fiercer competition and tougher client demands, such as re-tenders and client presentations, foster opportunities for agencies to build new relationships and to develop new business • Greater fluidity in the job market and recruitment of new talent is now seen as an opportunity for growth, not as a barrier. Perhaps that explains why 80 percent of our 2010 respondents continue to be optimistic. I Saffery Champness full survey is available at The Work Foundation


Those figures came from Staying Ahead: The economic performance of the UK’s Creative Industry 2007.1 2

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Making mail part and parcel of your marketing success Postal services have disseminated information since Ancient Roman times, but are the days of the Pony Expresses and postage stamp now fading into memory? Not so says Pascal Brighi, project manager for Maileva UK, who argues that mail remains convenient, economic and surprisingly adaptable for marketing.

receiving mail. Recent studies in France have shown that 96 percent read the promotional mail they receive and 73 percent like receiving print advertising. More than half of all people polled consider that mail is a good media to discover previously unknown products, services or brands. Nearly 39 percent feel more inclined to buy the product, while 81 percent said they would visit the outlets advertised in postal campaigns. In one successful French multi-media promotional campaign, 69 percent of the target audience said they remembered the mailed advertising, compared to 43 percent for television and lower figures for other media. Every advertising medium must innovate, and postal advertising is no different. Today one can send direct mail to several thousand people in a few minutes using only a computer and an internet connection, without any additional investment. These letters can include a large degree of personalised customisation. In short, constant innovation has allowed traditional postal mail to enter the 21st century with renewed vigour. I © wikipedia/ Crown_copyright


ith the arrival of the internet 15 years ago, many expected email to replace conventional mail. But today, mail still represents half of the marketing spend in Europe. By contrast, most of the 250 billion emails sent daily are not read at all, especially if they are spam or if the sender is not clearly recognised. There is no question about it: mail remains an effective medium to promote your products. The same is broadly true of other “traditional” platforms which pundits once predicted would become obsolete Mail • Back in vogue – television, radio, press, cinema and display posters. Yet the postal service seems to enjoy advantages over all rivals. Even successful internet based companies such as Google, who previously concentrated their promotion only online, now post several million promotional items a year. Surely their investment shows that they are satisfied with the returns. Indeed, one of the key strengths of postal media is that it is easy to measure the return on investment. But that is not its only winning feature. Why, then, does this media work so well? Firstly, because people like

February saw the UK launch of Maileva, a system that aims to generate quick leads and sales, and which can also handle rapid response “emergency mail”. If you need to get your message out quickly, a document sent to Maileva can arrive a day later in the customer’s letterbox. Maileva also offers redemption vouchers with barcodes, which can influence purchasing behaviour and help measure the effectiveness of a direct marketing campaign. In addition, SMS, email or fax messages reinforce conventional mail when using a multi-media approach. The system can also send invoices, payslips or general information, printed to the highest standards and issued twice daily in cases, instead of monthly. Some 10,000 French business customers use Maileva and 80M pages were printed in 2010 alone.

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Keeping your good name, and the cost of losing it In an age when trust and corporate ethics are so valued, the reputation of financial institutions needs to be managed with great care. The price of losing your reputation is uncomfortably high, warns Leesa Fogarty


ach year, millions of pounds are spent promoting a financial institution and its brands to create the perfect image. Yet a single negative comment can escalate and destroy a reputation within days. As a result, reputation management is fast becoming more than just a buzzword among marketing and communications professionals.

A board level priority Corporate reputation is now a board level priority affecting an organisation’s ability to source local partners, attract and retain staff, increase revenues, deliver services and compete in today’s marketplace. An effective early-warning system can alert executives to reputational problems quickly. And by engaging with stakeholders, resources can be directed to deal with such threats. Most financial companies are good at tracking negative mentions in the press or online. However, much tougher is the need to prepare for serious reputational threats, whose potential frequency and cost have risen dramatically, given an inhospitable business climate. Moreover, there are regulatory threats too. These take a variety of forms: taxes on financial products that could harm sales, or strictures on capital and liquidity, or even regarding getting an operating license.

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The Role of the Communications Department From informing journalists and issuing press releases on financial results to managing stakeholder events, the communications team lies at the heart of reputation management. Consultation and dialogue with stakeholders is increasingly becoming part of mainstream business practice. It represents a way of gathering important feedback, anticipating and managing conflicts, improving decision-making, building consensus amongst diverse views, strengthening relationships, and enhancing corporate reputation. No longer is such dialogue just seen as an optional means to “touch base” with interest groups. Rather, stakeholder engagement is critical to business strategy; it allows many companies to enter challenging markets, resolve or head off confrontations with activists, and improve or preserve their reputation in communities and the marketplace. This often takes time and money, and demands unaccustomed levels of openness and collaboration. However, like it or not, most companies now have to engage with stakeholders, be it in conflict or consensus. The Issues Life-Cycle When an issue becomes public, the cost to manage it increases and the opportunity to influence the agenda

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is reduced. As we move into the political and regulatory environment the issue becomes even harder to manage and influence. Today most financial institutions operate reactively in the zones of PR (public) and Public Affairs (PA), yet they can move back into the zone where they can identify emerging risks and opportunities. That reduces uncertainty in the planning process, helps select the highest impact issues, gains additional lead time and transforms trends into opportunities. In short, proactive management strategies yield competitive advantage.

how can you prevent an issue turning into a crisis? Financial organisations today need to ensure they have a dialogue with a relevant audience, with the right information and at the right time. Communications teams work best when they are connected with agencies, departments and programs. And proactive communications means identifying potential issues before they arise. Lastly, communications helps measure return on investment – by tracking responses to media messages.

New Challenges and Principles The increased volatility of issues in today’s business climate really can challenge communications directors. The risk runs from poorer press coverage to potentially catastrophic digital crisis and reputational failure. Today’s business communication operations need to enhance both operational and strategic performance, maintain control over costs, and at the same time manage stakeholders across multiple geographies. Importantly reputation is not what the company or organisation thinks about itself, but rather the attitudes and opinions that others have formed, even if not grounded in fact. Stakeholders get information partly from advertising, annual reports, events and the corporate website. That you can control. But what about journalist reviews, customer and employee blogs and political activists? How do you ensure that people have accurate information from which to form opinions, and

New Tools of Trade Ideally, technology should work for you, not against you, but the risk of confusion is always there. Often Communications runs a mix of Outlook, Rolodex, XLS, Google, home-built databases and a galaxy of specialist service providers and agencies that don’t talk to each other easily. Simply put, it’s a recipe for inefficiency and reduced impact. Yet fortunately stateof-the art software can now integrate all information into one centralised company-wide platform. From that digital platform, every aspect of the stakeholder engagement process can now be streamlined and company collaboration can be improved. Across global banks and financial institutions, “ambassador” executives can receive company policy position papers delivered real-time via Blackberry or iPhone, before they meet external stakeholders. And the ambassador can rate their sentiment whilst on the move, also in real-time, using a simple drop down menu. That way organisations learn the impact of their messages on opinion formers – no matter where they are operating. This approach also empowers the Board to tap into weak signals of emerging risk.

Figure 1 – The stakeholder landscape

Media Coverage Investors Capital

NGO/ Activists Advocacy

Government Leniency Corporation Business Opportunity / Risk

Community Legitimacy

Employees (Past/Present) Commitment

Customers Loyalty

The Future The UK economy, although back on a growth path, is still shaky, and this year’s bonus announcements will leave a bitter taste for consumers, as 490,000 public sector workers stand to lose their jobs. Thus understanding stakeholder sentiment is critical to capitalising on opportunities and protecting the organisation against risks. Senior executives need to tap into their corporation’s knowledge network and engage with multiple stakeholders in relevant and credible two-way communications, all the while building the business case for the things they do – protecting their companies’ reputation. I Leesa Fogarty is an authority on strategic communications management and CSR and serves as Vice President Operations, Northern Europe & Asia Pacific at Augure SA.

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Marrying marketing and HR teams for total engagement Marketing assests need to be carefully managed says Jeanne Monchovet Senior Consultant and founder of Olystix


recent research conducted by Ernst & Young amongst over 1,400 senior executives has revealed what many might see as a surprise: ‘one of the most striking findings’, it reported, ‘is the prominent role of branding and marketing in respondents’ growth aspirations.’ For the past two years there has been a major trend towards cost reduction, particularly in support functions, reported the study, Competing for Growth Winning in the New Economy, October 2010. Typically marketing has been included as a cost in this and has consequently suffered. But as companies turn their attention back to growth, more now recognise — especially among high performers— that marketing has a key role to play as a driver of growth. And this role actually goes well beyond just sales support. In fact 62 percent of high performers acknowledged branding and reputation as the most critical factor in remaining competitive, revealed the study. The report itself quotes from companies from around the world, and seeks to show how their actions help them thrive in a transformed marketplace. Without a doubt marketing and branding are back on the agendas of senior managers and boards of directors. Such news comes as music to the ears for anyone who has worked with marketing directors to develop stronger brands and stronger market relationships. But the true question is – are companies really managing their brand assets properly? More specifically, are sales forces doing as well as they can in developing pitch and delivering messages

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with a potent impact? In the light of this report, one should consider injecting brand elements into staff training, thus inspiring sales people to use the power of their brand’s DNA. Surprisingly, when sales people were asked to define their brand value proposition, very few were able to articulate this clearly. Nor could they define what differentiates their product or service from competitors’. Employees are rarely selected for their brandbuilding potential and are not often trained in brandenhancing skills. Yet they should understand how their brand should be presented to their customers, how they can bring their messages to life via traditional sales tools, and how they can become great story tellers. Engagement is the marketing buzzword of the decade. It seems to be spreading everywhere. Marketing and Human Resources teams should work together to develop programmes that bring the brand to life for middle managers. Many HR, Sales and Marketing Departments apparently have yet to recognise this truth.


of execs, say branding assists competitiveness

In fact, can companies’ internal policies kill brand building? Perhaps the best guarantee of ensuring that this does not happen is to build links between departments and disciplines, and not to duplicate functions unnecessarily. This way brands can become the powerful growth engines that companies desire. I

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Part Three: Cross Border Marketing

So near, yet so far! Media, readership, technology usage and advertising differ dramatically on the French side of the Channel says Alexandra Ignatieff of Walkdontwalk

ou want to conquer a market on the other side of the Channel? Well, don’t forget about your communication strategy, and make sure you adapt your message and the way you broadcast it to the local media, as there are many differences between Great Britain and ‘the Continent’! A typical British person is often represented with a newspaper under his arm, instead of a French baguette, and for a good reason! Born in the 17th century, and with a long tradition of independence, British daily newspapers still enjoy huge circulations − popular titles such as The Sun can sell up to 3 million copies daily and The Sunday Times records an average circulation of 900,000 copies − without counting online readership, as perfectly exemplified by The Guardian website, read by 28 million online users. In the case of France, the structure of the newspaper industry enables advertisers to achieve a very targeted communication: France is characterised firstly by a significant regional daily press, which generally enjoys a quasi-monopoly in its distribution zone. Thus the regional Ouest France has a print-run of 854,700 copies, compared to only 314,000 copies for Le Figaro, the highest circulation French national newspaper. Secondly, France has the world’s strongest magazine press, with over 1,500 special interest titles, unlike the English, who consequently read with passion their Sunday newspaper magazine supplements, a sort of substitute magazine! Leaving aside a country’s culture, the quality of the distribution medium is also important in developing

©flickr/nicolas patte


French magazines lead the way in the World a marketing message: thus glossy paper is without doubt more suitable for the communication of a luxury, refined image in the French style, whereas British irreverence and humour work better in tabloid newspapers printed on lower quality newsprint paper. In Great Britain, while the daily press remains dominant and reaches 83% of ABC1s (i.e. social groups with the greatest purchasing power, largely concentrated in London and the South-East), nevertheless digital media are gaining ground with advertisers: through screens on the London Underground, in cinemas and of course on the internet, where Facebook is the leading display publisher in the country with a market share of 31%. In France more than 27 million people are now buying online, equal to 73% of all internet users; in one year, the number of cyber-shoppers has risen by 18% and over half of members of online

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communities read the advice of other internet users before making a purchase. See the study conducted by The British Population Survey for IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group, the membership community for the e-retail industry), which shows that more than half of British adults buy online, with an increase of 3.7 million new cyber-shoppers in the last two years. It is hardly surprising that this media continues to gain ground on both sides of the Channel. In France, email


French people buy online

remains the advertisers’ favourite (92% of advertisers plan to use email this year). However, while internet advertising revenue continues to rise in Great Britain, this medium is suffering a revenue decline in France, with a significant decrease of CPM (Cost Per 1,000 internet users). Nevertheless, this medium has also become a vehicle for brand support when carried on websites of high value added brands (thus, Le Figaro website with 7.5 million internet users attracts luxury advertisers). The print/internet combination has become a valued tool for communication and advertising. Following on from the development and widespread take-up of the internet, the mobile revolution is now under way: this provides access to radio and television and to a wide range of services at any time of day or night, everywhere, and enables duplication of medias! In this area, France is far ahead, thanks to its excellent mobile network coverage, in both urban (including underground) and rural areas. This is a development that has been particularly marked in the last 12 months, and the audience is now measured by official organisations such as Médiamétrie and OJD: thus, Rue89 attracts 1.9 million visitors, and its iPhone application is used as frequently as the Le Figaro application: this internet newspaper, launched online in 2007, has seen its advertising revenue grow significantly since September 2010, when the number of mobile internet users in France (13.7 million) was finally calculated by an independent body. In France, about a third of advertisers already communicate through mobile websites, applications or messages and a further 40% will follow this year − a market which is projected to take off between now and 2013, when experts expect the number of mobile handsets to exceed the number of fixed lines. I









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Opening the door to 65 million consumers Thinking about selling or marketing your products or services in France but unsure how to? In this article multilingual business services provider TEMA pinpoints the most important things to keep in mind when adapting your website to the French market. By Mette Loebner


e are all aware that exposing a business to overseas opportunities can make it more competitive. Known as the cultural capital of the world and one of the Eurozone’s most important countries for international trade and commerce, UK businesses can not afford to overlook France. If you are an internet company and already have a UK website, according to TEMA, the easiest and most cost effective way to start selling your products in France is to adapt your website to the French market and handle your customer service and sales through a French speaker. There are, however, a number of things you need to be aware of when adapting your website to the French market. Below are the most important ones: • Top Level Domain Name To achieve the best results in international Search Engine Optimisation you will need a country specific top level domain. In practice this means that without a .fr domain you will have a hard time ranking on and other local search engines. • Localise Your Website Obviously, all copy on your website should be translated into French including localising brand names and keywords. • Appear Local A local phone number, a French business address and offering payment into a French bank account will make your business appear local and in turn increase the customer confidence in your offering. • Make your website a dynamic platform

Adding a blog to your website and updating it regularly (one blog post a day) is one of the best ways to improve your rankings on search engines. There are two things to keep in mind: Make sure the content is interesting and relevant to your potential customers. If you write interesting content people are likely to start following your blog which will in turn increase traffic to your website. Steer away from hardcore selling in your blog and make it more an information platform for news and trends within your industry. Make sure you incorporate one or two keywords into each of the blog posts (preferably in the title) and link to other pages within your website where these keywords appear. By doing this regularly you will improve your rankings for your top keywords. • Speak to your new clients When your website has been adapted and search engine optimised in French, the next step is to ensure your customers feel comfortable and respected when approaching you. By employing a French speaker (either in-house or in an outsourced call centre) you ensure there is always someone with the right cultural knowledge to answer your customer calls. As a rule of thumb, the most important thing to keep in mind when entering the French (or any) market is to never underestimate cultural differences but also to never overestimate them – it can be done and if you do it right, you will benefit. I Mette Loebner is Accounts Manager at TEMA

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Part Four: Case Studies

The selling power of fame Using a celebrity for marketing lends a product glamour and recognition. The patronage of a wellknown personality also brings credibility. Here, Cinémoi explains why companies with a serious marketing strategy seek the endorsement of a personality for their products and services.


he selection of the personality to represent the product is all important. He or she should be suitable for the brand as well as someone customers can identify with. There are many cases where personalities coming from the same area of interest have worked wonders for the brand. Take Gary Linekar who was the face of Walkers’ crisps for 10 years, during which sales increased 105%. In this case the campaign played on his nice guy persona. BT took a different tack, creating an interactive story around a character’s (played by actor Kris Marshall) modern family. Sainsbury’s plumped for a celebrity with an occupation directly linked to their product. Jamie Oliver led a successful collaboration spanning over 10 years with an estimated £1 billion increase in sales. The power of celebrity is no less relevant to Jonathan Ross’s participation in the Cinémoi brand. Ross is a Cinémoi subscriber and a great enthusiast for French cinema. Who better to represent the channel that distributes French films! He also has an extensive background in broadcasting, film and entertainment. Ross is set to be the face of Cinémoi in 2011. The support of the well known broadcaster brings two advantages to the channel. It brings French film to a wider audience, from the arthouse/Francophile niche to the mainstream. Through his Friday night show and 11 year stint as presenter of the BBC’s flagship film programme, Ross provides an ideal bridge for the Cinémoi product to cross into a larger market. For Cinemoi, he has taken on a multifaceted role as presenter/interviewer, producer, creative director and shareholder. The development has already had a positive effect

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on subscriptions numbers and channel interest, be it through increased call volumes, website visits or social network followers. Press articles in national dailies, linking Ross to Cinémoi, still display the biggest impact, although it is evident that a celebrity’s viral endorsements, in particular twitter, creates a significant increase of interest in the product. On the business/ operational side, the involvement of a major celebrity with the company effects collaboration with partner companies and service providers; relations are often facilitated due to a perked interest in our company’s fortunes and increased potential for success, leading to greater co-operation for future mutual benefit. The flipside of celebrity involvement in a mediafrenzy world is the volatile nature of celebrity coverage and burden of past scandals. Likewise, any product’s consumer base is likely to harbour significant variations and Cinémoi is no exception. Although many new subscribers and members have joined the channel as a direct result of the increased exposure to the ‘celebrity’, several ‘product purists’ have made their preference known for a French or high-brow presenter/channel face. Inevitably this leads to certain sections of former members leaving the channel. However, the maxim: no publicity is bad publicity, often holds true, particularly in the influential world of blogging, which also importantly does not demand material costs. Ross involvement with the channel will stimulate forum debates. The logistical factor of working with a celebrity also poses certain obstacles for the company that he represents. Commitments and contracts with primary employers are likely to hinder access and impose time

© flickr/nicolas genin

© flickr/Brunel University

© wikipedia/Georges Biard

© wikipedia/David Shankbone

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Cinémoi supporters • Jonathan Ross • Martin Scorsese • Vincent Cassel • Romain Duris • Steven Berkoff constraints on the working relationship. Consequently, as desirable as it is to keep the same figure continuously linked to the product, another possibility is to lead a time-specific collaboration, such as Apple’s Mitchell and Webb Get a Mac campaign in 2006, and alternate to a more generic marketing drive during the celebrity’s non-availability. The option of expanding the brand’s faces is also a possibility, so long as the means allow. Cinémoi is currently in talks with Martin Scorsese, also a viewer of the channel, with regard to a collaboration and endorsement. This will bring the channel’s product further into the industry mainstream. The power of celebrity ambassadors can also opens doors to the key area of sponsorship. This adds weight and familiarity for investors. It also provides the opportunity to associate their brand by proxy with the star and his/her resulting exposure. In 2010 Cinémoi secured a sponsorship deal with Renault for its coverage of the Cannes film festival. As a result, there were numerous interviews with talent and stars, enabling the two companies to be linked. In terms of coherency and teleology, this partnership has had plenty to offer in terms of product origin (France), while Renault continued its cinematic association following sponsorship of film broadcast on terrestrial television.

Marketing through personality, with Cinémoi in view

Cinémoi has had to compete with the might and glitter of Hollywood ever since its launch in 2009. Even though its offering of French films is highly distinctive, the importance of differentiation cannot be exaggerated this is why its founder and CEO Olly Bengough approached its marketing campaign strategically and creatively through two principle avenues: Ambassadors and Sponsorships. Cinémoi has been able to capitalise on the appeal of its uniqueness and non-commercial nature, due to the alternative nature/perception of French film, to attract praise and endorsements from celebrities. Beyond the most obvious supporters from the world of French film – stars like Vincent Cassel, Kristin-Scott Thomas and Charlotte Gainsbourg -- others in the cultural domain have also been interested in, or even viewers of, the channel. These include Michael Caine, Steven Berkoff and Terry Gilliam. Their support as ambassadors has today raised the profile of Cinemoi and provided the basis for its success among viewers and wider stakeholders. I Aurélie Brault and Sarathy Sankar from Cinémoi

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A Kaleidoscope of ways to sell your goods From lavish and sophisticated multi-media promotions to bargain basement “guerrilla” campaigns there are a myriad ways that marketing works its magic. Lawrence Joffe explores some techniques through the following brief survey and four illustrative case studies.


arketing is a dynamic activity, as barriers between adverts, underline promotions, celebrity endorsements, reality shows and even video games break down. Newer IT-driven campaigns interact with customers, creating feelings of direct involvement. Marketing often promotes brand awareness as much as selling goods. Recent initiatives now stress newer perceived needs, like green values. Compassion is another, as indicated by the plethora of Facebook-run campaigns which ally big firms to charitable initiatives. The challenge is for agencies to get clients to “think outside the box” – and larger institutions often tend

towards conservativism. Yet the basic ingredients to a good campaign remain the same: human emotions, which have not changed over history. These include desire, fear, reassurance, the pleasure of scoring a bargain. And by appealing to viewers with impactful, attention-grabbing and astute, well-tested campaigns, clever marketers can help clients rise above the throng… One client is the political party and parties have launched some memorable ads, such as their “Labour Isn’t Working” billboard (profiled opposite). Not to mention the “guerrilla marketers”, who used low cost shock tactics and gimmicks to get their message across. I

Zoo Communications ||| Not all marketing is about simply selling products or services. Much of it goes on establishing, maintaining and sometimes subtly altering brand identity. In fact, probably more so during trying times, when companies

Lars Clausen • Managing Director of Zoo Communications

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need to stand out from their rivals. One agency that shows how brand identity and presentation can integrate with the whole panoply of marketing techniques is British-based Chamber member, Zoo Communications. Often the website is the first port of call, such as the stylish yet simple multi-lingual, music-enhanced ones that Zoo created for prestigious Oetker and Brenner Hotels. Raising public awareness also brings in potential new customers. But how does one reach them? Appropriate location and meshing with a client’s image is crucial. For instance, Zoo has created interactive plasma screens with video loops that Cognizant, a fast growing IT software testing company, now displays at conventions and trade shows. Sometimes events, not firms, need marketing. Using its French connections, Zoo is currently promoting and printing material for a testimonial dinner to honour retiring French rugby hero, Serge Betsen, at the Park Lane Hilton.

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Zoo knows that clear, appealing design can often mean the difference between making a sale or not. First they persuade clients not to take design for granted. Next, they consult closely to create the aesthetics that best project their client’s identity. Customers range from Dior and the Luxury Network, for whom Zoo creates brochures, stationery, collateral items and restaurant refurbishment; to packaging for affordable Nisa stores and products.

The key lesson is the value of an agency’s close co-operation with its client. For example, Zoo has collaborated for many years with Tchibo, a European retail chain. Recently they totally redesigned their 30 British outlets to suit local cultural tastes. The aim was simplicity and naturalness, and the client understood every step of the process via Zoo’s 3D fly-through video. Evidently the project worked, as like-for-like store sales rose by 123 percent.” I

||| Saatchi & Saatchi became the byword for advertising prowess and epitomised the assertive commercial spirit of the Thatcher years. Peerless in promoting products, Saatchi’s most memorable campaigns nonetheless lay in the political arena. “Labour Isn’t Working”, an election-time billboard that displayed those giant words over a snaking dole queue, helped usher in 17 years of Conservative rule. Some see the poster as proof that advertising can change history. Others feel it only mirrored the national mood of 1979. Whatever the case, Saatchi marked a cultural sea change in British marketing by breaking deep-held taboos. In 1999 a jury of British advertising directors voted the poster the best billboard advertisement of the century, one that “changed the rules of elections by introducing aggressive marketing techniques into party political campaigning”. Another Saatchi triumph was the poster that damned Labour’s tax plans as a “Double Whammy”, which probably doomed the party’s prospects at the polls in 1992. Two Iraqi-born immigrant brothers, Charles and Maurice Saatchi, founded the London agency in 1970. That year their copywriter Jeremy Sinclair stamped their reputation for originality with a Health Education Council advert promoting birth control. It famously featured a bemused and obviously expectant man, with the rubric: “Would you be more careful if it was you who got pregnant?”

© flickr/Dekcuf

Saatchi & Saatchi

Feng Zhengjie at the Saatchi Gallery

Sardonic wit and the compelling image are key features of the Saatchi ethos; little wonder that Charles Saatchi established a contemporary art gallery and sponsors young British artists. Equally unorthodox was the way Maurice would “cold call” potential clients to drum up business. The agency pioneered reverse takeovers of larger, established agencies, and in the 1980s they diversified into public relations and consultancy. After 1987 a string of dubious management decisions culminated in the brothers’ ouster from the agency that bares their name. Currently Saatchi & Saatchi runs campaigns for anything from Pampers diapers via their story-board promotion, the Lovemark Story, to organising the 2011 Dubai Global Energy Forum. I

Novocortex ||| Finding a scratch on your pricey new car is never pleasant. Happily in this exercise run by marketing innovators Novocortex the “scratch” was merely a high definition image copied onto a non-adhesive sticker. And next to the image were these words: ‘Repairing

your damages can be as easy as removing this sticker. Insure your car on and get a discount of 10-49 percent’. The stunt has built brand awareness for Novocortex’s client, a Dutch car insurance company, and it didn’t

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end there. Novocortex videoed drivers’ reactions and posted them on YouTube, and then invited blog readers to “co-create” by testing the sticker on their friends. The video climbed the viewing charts in the Netherlands, Novocortex sold out of stickers in two days, and daily traffic on the site tripled. Most crucially, VrijVerzekerd. nl saw a leap in custom – and all this for a budget of €1,000. Novocortex’s action is typical of “guerrilla marketing”, a term that has been around since a book of that name appeared in 1984. The essence is direct engagement and low cost. Much of it includes good old fashioned huckstering with human billboards, town criers, legal fly-posting or street flier distributors. Other campaigns use stunts, mobile projections, and increasingly hand-held gadgets and internet technology, even video games.

Most recently guerrillas have adopted selfreplicating “viral marketing”, where consumers become voluntary promoters or even contributors. Novocortex also loves “gamevertising”: RaboBank sponsored the “Short Term Memory” game, based on recalling internet passwords; “Endless Racing” for two iPhones went viral and promotes car insurance; while users enjoy testing their vision online in a promotion for “universal spectacles” in developing countries. Fun, interactive and participatory, the under-theradar guerrilla approach is now favoured by even the largest firms, such as Chamber patron and energy giant, Alstom. Recently Novocortex created online banner ads to promote films about Alstom’s eco-schools in Brazil, and “Power Faces”, their video series about key employees. I

Ikea & the Paris Metro Quirky as the exercise was, it certainly made an impact. Even those who dismissed it as a stunt helped spread the Ikea name just by talking about it. The Metro project included many elements that typify a clever campaign: surprise, humour, comfort and reassurance – very tangibly too, unlike, say, a television advert or an internet commercial. Judging from photographs of Parisians blithely using Ikea’s “free services”, the exercise seemed to work. It certainly raised brand awareness. Metro users, for whom traveling is yet another stressful experience, found that resting on an Ektorp and Karlstad sofa proved a welcome break. But did it increase Ikea sales? That is probably harder to tell. Blogged responses were generally favourable, although some contributors raised safety concerns. At a deeper level, did the Ikea brainwave disturb what should be a neutral public space? If so, are not billboard ads already an imposition? In fact this was not the first time Ikea had tried this technique. In January 2009 they added a mock replica of the Presidential Oval Office in Washington DC’s famous Grand Union station. I © flickr/ario

||| Imagine alighting at the Paris Metro’s St. Lazare, Champs-Elysées Clémenceau, Concorde or Opéra, and seeing before you comfortable sofas, or usually drab walls now festooned in modish print patterns. That was the vision that confronted commuters in the French capital for two weeks in March 2010. And it was all part of an ingenuously unorthodox marketing campaign by the Swedish furnishings megastore, Ikea.

Ikea furniture on a Paris Metro station platform

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ex hibit ions

Š Estate of Patrick Heron. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2002

Watercolour 16 February – 21 August 2011 / Tate Britain / Admission charge ||| Watercolour takes us back to the origins of watercolour in the form of medieval illumination and traces its history thereafter, showing how the increasing portability of the medium allowed artists to travel with their paints to far-flung regions, documenting what they saw, from new fauna and flora to on-the-spot recording of new landscapes and events. Before the advent of photography, watercolour was the medium of choice for eye-witness evidence. Acknowledging the association of watercolour with British artists such as William Blake, JMW Turner and Thomas Girtin, and examining it within a modern and contemporary context in the work of artists such as Patrick Heron and Tracey Emin, the show goes much further in presenting a medium which has long had a huge range and appeal; for amateurs and professionals, for show and for intimacy, for realistic representation and for hallucinatory or abstract creation. I

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What’s on? Jan Gossaert’s Renaissance

Yohji Yamamoto at the V&A

||| Jan Gossaert, a native of Flanders (active 1503; died 1532), was one of the most startling and accomplished artists of theNorthernRenaissance. ‘Jan Gossaert’s Renaissance’ is the first exhibition dedicated to the artist for over 40 years, and presents the results of a complete re-examination ofhiswork,includingnew © Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. technical discoveries. The exhibition features over 80 works and allows them to be set in the context of the full range of the artist’s work, from the fruits of his early visit to Rome to the unusually erotic presentation of the nude in his Adam and Eve series. I 23 February – 30 May 2011 / National Gallery / Sainsbury Wing Exhibition / Admission charge

||| The Victoria and Albert Museum presents one of the most influential and enigmatic fashion designers of the last forty years, Yohji Yamamoto.Yamamoto is a visionary designer who has made a vital contribution to fashion, challenging traditional norms © Nick Knight Art Direction Peter Saville of clothing with his avant-garde style. This is his first major solo show in the UK and is an installation-based retrospective showcasing over 80 women’s and menswear garments, which are most representative of his work. I 12 March – 10 July 2011 / Victoria and Albert Museum / Admission charge

Watteau’s Drawings: virtuosity and delight

© Watteau The Drawings Key52 Cat0 Jean Antoine Watteau Three Studies of a Young Girl Wearing a Hat c1716 Red and black chalk graphite on paper 138x246 mm Collection of Ann and Gordon Getty. Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

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||| In March 2011, the Royal Academy of Arts will present the first retrospective exhibition of the drawings of Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721) to be held in the UK. The display will contain over 80 works on paper produced by the French artist. Watteau is perhaps best known for his invention of a new genre: the fêtes galantes, small pictures of social gatherings of elegant people in parkland settings. He was also an exceptional draughtsman. His drawings were praised for their subtlety, freedom of execution, lightness of touch and grace, and remain widely admired today. I 12 March – 5 June 2011 / Royal Academy of Arts / Admission charge

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Hoppé Portraits: Society, Studio and Street

ciné lumière césar awards

||| E.O. Hoppé is one of the most important photographers of the firsthalfofthetwentieth century. Celebrated during his lifetime, much of Hoppé’s work has only recently been reassembled and this majorsurveywillenable Tilly Losch, 1928 © 2010 Curatorial Assistance, visitors to discover this Inc. / E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection forgotten master. The exhibition brings together Hoppé’s modernist portraits of important personalities including George Bernard Shaw, Margot Fonteyn and Vita Sackville-West and his fascinating photojournalist studies, which capture the realities of dayto-day life in Britain between the wars. I 17 February – 30 May 2011 / National Portrait Gallery / Admission charge

||| In the run up to the announcement of this year’s prestigious César awards, Ciné lumière brings together a selection of films that have won a considerable number of prizes (Le Dernier métro, Cyrano de Bergerac, Ridicule) or which are tipped for cyra1, extraite du film Cyrano de Bergerac winning awards this year (Of Gods and Men, Little White Lies). For 36 years, the Césars, the French equivalent of the British BAFTAs and American Oscars, have honoured the finest talents and films and celebrates the passion and dedication to cinema. I Ciné Lumière / French Institute / 25 – 27 February 2011

Rien à déclarer (Nothing to Declare)

sonia wieder-atherton: cellist

||| In this tiny border town between France and Belgium, life is all about customs. So when headlines announce the opening of the E.C. borders in the early 90’s, a loud cry of panic goes up – ‘Noooooooooooooo!’ Ruben (Benoît Poelvoorde) is a Belgian customs officer with an abiding hatred of all things French. Mathias (Dany Boon) is the French customs officer who’s secretly in love with Ruben’s sister, the girl from the chocolate shop, Louise. The couple’s love will be tested by a series of hilarious misunderstandings involving a drug smuggling ring, a frog-hating Belgian father, and Ruben’s desire to see his sister get married… to a Belgian colleague, that is. It’s waffles vs. camembert, in a fight to the finish. The hotlyanticipated new comedy from the man behind Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis, on exclusive run at Ciné lumière, one week after its release in France. I France / 2010 / 108 mins / dir. Dany Boon, with Benoît Poelvoorde, Dany Boon, Julie Bernard / in French with English subtitles / Ciné Lumière / 11-28 February 2011

||| Prior to her residence at Kings Place on 17, 18 and 19 March 2011, the French cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton introduces three of her creations: Chants Juifs, Vita (Monteverdi’s madrigals and Giacinto Scelsi’s Trilogy for cello solo) and D’Est in Music, with images taken from Chantal Akerman’s © Jean-Baptiste Mondino.jpg film, D’Est. Sonia will discuss her upcoming programme, perform some extracts from her new CD Vita and talk around some images. This event is a unique occasion to discover the richness of this great musician and the links she creates between art forms and different worlds. There will be a Q&A and CD signing. I French Institute / 15 March 2011 – 7.00 pm

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bo ok r e v i e w s

The Breakers

Monsieur Montespan

by Claudie Gallay, translated by Alison Anderson ||| In the Contentin peninsula on the northern coast of Brittany, lies a village that to all intents and purposes might just be at the end of the world. Amid this desolation, a stranger appears in the cafe and begins stirring up suspicion about the village’s lighthouse keeper, now retired. An old grandmother wanders the beaches, looking for a child named Michel. Meanwhile, a woman arrives from the south. The man of her life has just died and she throws herself into her work, cataloguing her surroundings in obsessive detail. The villagers seem to be guarding old secrets about events in their past. But what actually happened? Who were the victims? Who is seeking answers - and why? This mystery has the force of a Greek tragedy unravelled, as secrets and answers slowly come to light. The Breakers is as fascinating about the seascape and the birdlife as it is about the inhabitants of the village and the events that unfolded so long ago. I

by Jean Teulé, translated by Alison Anderson ||| The Marquis de Montespan and his new wife, Athénaïs, are a true love-match - a rarity amongst the nobility of seventeenth-century France. But love is not enough to maintain their hedonistic lifestyle, and the couple soon faces huge debts. When Madame de Montespan is offered the chance to become ladyin-waiting to the Queen at Versailles, she seizes this opportunity to turn their fortunes round. Too late, Montespan discovers that his ravishing wife has caught the eye of King Louis XIV. As everyone congratulates him on his new status of cuckold by royal appointment, the Marquis is broken-hearted. He vows to wreak revenge on the monarch and win back his adored Marquise. With this extraordinary novel, Jean Teulé has restored a ridiculed figure from history to the rightful position of hero, by telling the hilarious, bawdy and touching story of a good man who loved too well and dared challenge the absolute power of the Sun King himself. I

Hector and the Secrets of Love

Hate: A Romance

by François Lelord translated by Lorenza Garcia ||| What is the secret formula for love? Hector, our intrepid psychiatrist, sets off on a new globetrotting mission and this time he’s looking for LOVE. One of the worlds largest pharmaceutical companies has employed him to track down their brilliant scientist, Professor Cormorant, who has disappeared abroad with the secret of a modern-day love potion. Leaving behind his troubled relationship with girlfriend Clara, Hector s adventure takes him to the Far East and into the arms of beautiful Vayla, forcing our hero to think deeply about what love really is/means. Acclaimed writer and psychiatrist, François Lelord, offers us a new fable filled with thoughtful insights into the very human desire to find and keep love. I

by Tristan Garcia translated by Lorin Stein & Marion Duvert ||| In a controversial first novel that took the French literary world by storm and won the Prix de Flore, Tristan Garcia uses sex, friendships and love affairs to show what happens to people when political ideals - Marxism, gay rights, sexual liberation, nationalism - come to an end. As Elizabeth Levallois, a cultural journalist, looks back on the decade and on the ravages of the AIDS epidemic in Paris, a drama unfolds - one in which love turns to hate and fidelity turns to betrayal, in both affairs of the heart and politics. With great verve and ingenuity, Garcia lays claim to an era that promised freedom as never before, and he paints an indelible, sharp, but sympathetic portrait of intellectuals lost in the age of MTV. I

These books, written in french and recently translated into english, were selected by the bureau du livre de Londres, translators and publishers

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interv iew

Richard Berry, 22 Bullets and the eternal quest for identity A hail of gunfire nearly ends the life of retired gangster Charly Matteï. Instead of terminating him, it merely prompts Charly back into business. So begins the latest epic from French actor turned director Richard Berry, who gave INFO an interview…

© wikipedia/Georges Biard

||| Richard Berry enjoys nothing more said Berry. ‘They trust you because than a challenge. His latest film as you are an actor. They know you director is L’Immortel, or in English, and that builds confidence. When 22 Bullets, after the fusillade that you say “action” the actor feels free. cut down former gangster Charly He doesn’t have to prove anything.’ Matteï in a Marseilles car-park. If Reno and Merad’s performances Charly somehow survives but then are riveting, the other towering faces a Catch 22 dilemma: should he character in 22 Bullets is Marseilles forgive and forget, or seek justice? itself, a beguiling, ambiguous city, The answer soon becomes clear as says Berry, ‘open by the coast yet blood flows in quantities that might enclosed by the mountains. It is a first make Guy Ritchie wince. port of call for everyone, from Spain, Richard Berry • Director of L’Immortel So can we ever empathise with Algeria, Italy, Morocco. That explains a villain? Well’, says Berry, ‘just give me an hour and its amazing blend of different cultures. Yet it is hard to 15 minutes of your time, and at the end you tell me if escape. It feels almost oppressive’. Which may explain its you don’t have any compassion for a bad guy.’ Having revolutionaries and drugs underworld, adds Berry. acted in 64 films and 20 plays for Comédie-Française, Now 60, Berry insists: ‘I always talk about the same Berry has since 2000 directed two movies that were subject, whether in comedy, drama, gangster movie or broadly comedies – L’Art (délicat) de la séduction and Moi love story. That subject is identity: who you are, where César, 10 ans ½, 1m39 – and then another two that are you come from, your past. The story may differ but the significantly darker: La Boîte noire and 22 Bullets. fundamentals remain the same. Take Charlie Matteï: he Based on the true story of gangster Jacky Imbert, now had to face his culture as a mob guy. Sometimes that is 81, who Berry consulted during his pre-shoot research, 22 really heavy to carry…’ Bullets stars seasoned French actor, Jean Reno, as Matteï. Berry’s own cultural baggage includes a passion for Berry and Reno are friends in real life. So is Kad Merad, theatre, opera, and French, American, British, Russian who plays mobster boss and Matteï’s childhood friend, and Italian movies. Yet whatever he directs is his own, Tony Zacchia. In France Kad is known as a comedian. he says. Nor does he feel he has glamourised gangsters. Yet when the film screened in Russia ‘the audience ‘Anyone watching 22 Bullets can see that they are so didn’t give a damn about his reputation’, noted Berry. stupid and violent’. ‘They recognised that he was dramatic and dangerous.’ Berry welcomes the return to grand “cinema as Similarly Marina Foïs, another comic, blended fragility entertainment” after years of shrinking multiplex and toughness as a cop who lost her husband to a gang screens. His next film will be in English, about an slaying, says Berry. American family coming to France. No more can be said, So was it hard for Berry to direct friends? ‘Not at all’, but watch this space! I L.R.J

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w i n e p r ess

Marketing of wine: why you should keep it simple New technology is revolutionising the selling and distribution of wine. French producers are late at the table. Their competitors are stealing a march on them, warns Thibault Lavergne.


© flickr/Aschaf /Andrea Schaffer

roducing good quality wine is only the beginning of the process: to succeed today, a wine also needs to be strategically positioned, well packaged, realistically priced, and properly marketed. Wine marketing is often done by referring to the wine’s history. A vineyard with a long historical pedigree has an edge over its competitors. A famous name, preferably with a well known historical connotation like Chateau Talbot or La Romanée-Conti for example, makes the establishment of a brand much easier. If the famous name is there but the historical context is missing, invention may have to take the place of veracity.

Appellation or Grapes variety?

Until recent times, European producers communicated mostly through their wine regions, their cru and their Appellations d’Origine (AOC today). For example, we know many wines as a Medoc, a Madiran or a Chianti and this works well when the wine region’s name is so well established that it can command the strength of a brand. In the UK, Chablis, Sancerre, Rioja, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Champagne all have such levels of recognition. No restaurant wine list can be without these wines. If your wine does not originate from any of these famous areas, you may struggle to be successful in the UK market. This will be particularly the case when the consumer is too embarrassed to order a wine because he can’t pronounce the name properly, as with PernandVergelesses from Burgundy. But imagine the same wine when it is carrying the grape name Pinot Noir. Then it may be a different story. The New World wine producers have understood quickly that they would be better to promote the

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Entrance to the famous Romanée Conti vineyard in Dijon

names of the grapes of Saint Emillion, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, rather than the names of the area’s particular vineyards. We had to wait for the 1980’s to get the first “Vins de Ccpage” in France. This only came after a strong lobbying campaign from the Languedoc’s big producer Robert Skalli. Grape names like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio are again more recognisable to the consumer.

Does wine need to be branded? If you are not from a well-known wine region and you don’t have a historic pedigree, you may have to create a brand to improve the chances of selling your wine.

w i n e p r e ss

French producers of all food products have come late to the process of marketing, so there is only one French brand in the supermarket’s Top 20. Both British trade and American producers understand and exploit the benefits of marketing. An understanding of marketing can help the producer at every stage of the wine making and selling process. It assists with the creation of the wine, its blending, its packaging, its communication and its promotion. Hundreds of freelance journalists are very happy to write an article about a newcomer in the wine trade. As wine advertising on TV is permitted in the UK, we often see famous programmes sponsored by big Australian or American brands.

Ltd for Waitrose. This uses QR codes to encourage the download of its free Xmas recipes. A QR Code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data. Incentivated is claiming a UK first by running the QR code on their TV adverts. The app is both iPhone/iPad and Android compatible. You can now order or download a tasting note by simply scanning the bar code of your favourite wine. Today, more than ever, the wine industry is at the heart of the latest marketing techniques. I Thibault Lavergne is the managing director of Wine Story Ltd

The Marketing of the Future: Mobile marketing and mobile commerce are essentials for today’s producer of wine. Mobile Marketing is the use of Text and Picture Messaging, as well as other Mobile Data Services such as the Mobile Internet, for advertising, direct marketing, direct response and sales promotion purposes. Mobile Commerce includes the secure processing of transactions made by mobile phone for goods and services consumed both on and off the phone, collection of payments by PSMS and content delivery to the handset. You may have come across the mobile marketing campaign designed and developed by the specialist high-tech marketing company Incentivated

Château Carmes Haut-Brion in Bordeaux has been bought for €18m – a record price Château Carmes Haut-Brion in the Pessac-Léognan region has been bought by Patrice Pichet, head of Bordeaux real estate company Groupe Pichet. Pichet reportedly paid €18m for the chateau in November. The sale price equates to €3.8m per hectare –the highest amount ever paid per hectare for a vineyard in Bordeaux. I

From the silver screen to your cheese platter by La Cave à Fromage ||| It is not often that a film popularises a cheese, but it might have happened with the strange union of Bienvenue Chez les Chtis and the deliciously addictive maroilles. This recent iconic and comic French film has contributed to the renaissance of a forgotten cheese. Much like les chtis - the colourful inhabitants of Northern France - maroilles is generous and has a rich personality. Yet the true genius of this cheese relies on a recipe developed by monks at the Abbaye of Maroilles 1,000 years ago, and still used today. With its beautifully smooth paste, pungent smell, and bright orange to red rind, maroilles is a treat on its own or in a ‘’goyere’” cheese pie with eggs or crumbled into a cauliflower puree. One way or the other, after your first encounter with maroilles you’ll want to visit the North of France. I

Maroilles • Cheese of the month

Wine and Maroilles by Wine Story

© flickr/ghirson

||| A refined brandy (Marc de Bourgogne or Champagne) or a very aromatic white wine (Gewurztraminer late harvest, for example) can do the trick. In contrast, light red wines are broken by the strong flavours of the cheese. A more structured wine may also be affected, having a metallic taste. To stay in the region, a strong local beer can also be a good surprise. I Gewurztraminer

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t h e ch a m be r . . .

chamber news : introduction


he Chamber has been a hive of activity. The following pages will explain further what we are doing in some detail. But here are some signposts. The Chamber would first like to add our good wishes to those expressed by our President Arnaud Vaissié, in thanking the Ambassador, HE Mr Maurice Gourdault-Montagne for his invaluable support to the Chamber. His contributions have regularly featured in our publications, he has hosted many of our events at the Residence including the sought after Ambassador’s Briefs, has led our trade delegation to Birmingham last year and has done so much more... So thank you Mr Ambassador and good wishes for your next posting! Our long-awaited website will ‘go live’ on 7 February. This gives us another line of communication to you, and ensures that you have another way of reaching us and hearing of our activities and services. So we will be watching out for a big hit rate! We have long believed that our members were pleased with our activities. But now we actually know that you like us. The Ipsos-MORI survey of members’ opinions about the Chamber, reported on the following page has findings that are very pleasing. The quality as well as quantity of our membership continues to grow, with 27 new members including 3 new Patron as well as 3 new Corporate members and 21 new Active members. Welcome to all of them. Now to the events! In the following pages you will read about the Franco-British Business Awards. Sponsored by Barclays, Air France and Mazars, these

Awards celebrate the best in French and British business. This year, there was added reason to be proud, as the Awards were celebrating their tenth birthday. Quality is at the core of our business, so who better to give us a lecture than the Managing Director of Harrods, Michael Ward. He spoke at our retail industry event, sponsored by Chanel. His wit and wisdom will be remembered by the large crowd that gathered at the Connaught. Meanwhile, many events await to charm our clientele. We look forward to our CEO Breakfast, to be addressed by Alstom’s UK president Steve Burgin. The interactive workshop taking place on 17 March will guide you on growing your business. Luxury is, as always, one of our primary themes, and Thierry Outin, managing director of Hermes UK, and chair of our Luxury Club is profiled in the following pages. How fitting that an early event under his tutelage is a Dîner des Chefs, with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir. St.Pancras Renaissance hotel will host another luxury diner on the 1st March for our Patron members. Luxury shines out from the products and style of Beillevaire, the new cheese store we profile. For those that need further information about setting up in France, our new book, France on the Move, sponsored by IFA, AXA and Barclays soon to be published, will be invaluable. Finally, we are seeking to leverage the experience and knowledge of the distinguished chairmen who head our clubs and forums, by holding a lunch. May their results be fruitful for all of us. I

France – On the move! The authoritative guide to life, work and business in France A genuine bible for British expatriates intending to set up a home and/or a business in France. Also a long-term, high-visibility opportunity for sponsoring companies. This is the 6th Edition of the only book offering truly expert guidance about domestic and professional matters involved in relocating to France. We are glad to thank Invest in France, AXA, Barclays France, ESC Grenoble, Delahaye Moving for their expertise and we still have chapters to sponsor. For more information or contributions please contact: David Lislet on 0207 092 6651 or

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@ t he ch a mber...

Survey of Chamber shows high level of satisfaction with services and activities Ipsos MORI, the market research company (and a Chamber member), conducted a survey last year. This report shows the finding and conclusions.

||| The survey sought to discover the opinions of members of the Chamber about the Chamber’s activities, services and communications. It also asked members about the extent of their involvement and their aspirations for the development of the Chamber. All members were surveyed and a significant number responded. This is the first time the Chamber has undertaken such a survey, and it is using these results to guide future programmes and activities. The survey found that an overwhelming majority of members expressed satisfaction with the Chamber’s performance in terms of providing a link for French companies in the UK as well as for UK companies with interests in France. The survey showed that 77% were satisfied, 5% dissatisfied, and the remainder neutral). Members were asked how well the Chamber communicated with its members. The results showed 76% were satisfied and 5% dissatisfied. As far as providing services relevant to members, 65% expressed themselves satisfied and 5% were dissatisfied. Virtually every member was aware of Chamber events (99%), publications (93%) and forums and clubs (84%), while around half (48%) knew about the room rental service. However only one in ten is aware of the Chamber’s “wish list” service. Levels of satisfaction with the main services were found to be very high, and by a margin of five to one, respondents said that the range of services provided met their needs well. 80% said they met them well while 15% dissented. The survey also covered awareness of and involvement in the Chamber’s wide range of events, including the Forums/clubs. These are a relatively

new initiative and there was a positive feedback from attendees. Some 80% said the forums and clubs were “useful”. The cost of membership is clearly an important issue, especially in the current economic context. By three to one, respondents agreed (57%) rather than disagreed (19%) that “My subscription represents good value for money”; on the other hand, only one in ten (10%) agreed with the proposition that “I’d be willing to pay a higher subscription to support additional resources/services”.


of the Chamber’s members were satisfied with its overall performance

The Chamber scored highly on the perceived quality of both its external (73% satisfied) and its internal communications (80% satisfied). This summary highlights some of the key findings. The full study analyses the answers by different category of member, by length of membership, by geography, and by size of organisation. There are also questions which explore suggestions for improvements when people express dissatisfaction (fortunately, not very frequently!). Thus the survey provides a wealth of detailed information for decision-makers at the Chamber. It is a reliable, objective management tool to help steer the Chamber on its course over the coming years, and achieve even more positive ratings in future. I

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@ t he ch a mber...

3 new Patron members:

Eagle Performance represented by Christian-G

Malissard, CEO-Founder Partner |

Eagle Performance is a fast growing Executive Advisory and Coaching company offering tailor made services to large clients for their managers and teams. Its magic lies in a unique combination of cutting edge social science and eastern philosophy. Whether you are trying to bring team spirit to your company, improve the relationship within department, increase intimacy with key clients or achieve a better balance in life, Christian-G Malissard and the Eagle Performance network offer tools to help you reach your goal. Get an eagle on board and watch your performance taking off!

Hermès Corporate & Finances represented by Archad

Barahee, Associate Director |

A wealth management specialist based in London, Hermès Corporate & Finances provide personalised solutions to a high-profile clientele of elite athletes, senior executives, managers, entertainment personalities, expatriates, etc. seeking to optimise or pass on their wealth in the best possible circumstances. An independent firm on a human scale capable of providing services in English, French and Spanish, Hermès Corporate & Finances position themselves as a one-stop investment advisory firm at the crossroads of private banking, wealth management, and family office. After a thorough analysis of client assets, Hermès Corporate & Finances assemble a dedicated team uniting several areas of expertise to build an overall strategy together with each client whilst meeting their objectives and values, from fiscal optimisation to investments, wealth transfer and inheritance, real estate, business start-up, family governance, philanthropy, etc. Through their network of rigorously selected experts—private banks, management firms, insurance underwriters, specialist solicitors, tax specialists, notaries public, etc.—Hermès Corporate & Finances bring together the very best know-how to serve the interests of their clients.

Miller Rosenfalck LLP represented by Emmanuelle

Ries, Partner, Head of Employment |

Miller Rosenfalck is a commercial law firm in the City of London specialising in corporate finance, international trade and business migration. We offer guidance and advice on company set ups, corporate structures, inward and outward investments, business acquisitions and commercial contracts, dispute resolution, intellectual property and employement law with in-depth knowledge of cross border issues. Our French Desk of six French speaking solicitors and avocats is one of the biggest in England. It consists of two dual qualified French and English lawyers, two French mother tongue solicitors and a further two French speaking solicitors, all based in London. 3 New Corporate members:

Compass Advisers Compass Advisers, LLP,, is an international, private investment banking partnership distinguished by its successful execution of cross-border transactions. Compass provides independent, senior-level advice and execution in mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, private equity placements and complex capital market transactions. Compass Advisers has offices in New York, London, Milan and Shanghai. Represented by Thomas Andrieu, Vice President

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@ t he ch a mber...

The Landmark London Perfectly located in one of London’s most up market districts, the Landmark London is close to all of London’s main attractions and amenities. Situated in Central London, the hotel offers 300 of the largest bedrooms, stunning private banqueting rooms; the hotel is home to three of Marylebone’s best restaurants and bars and also offers a SPA and indoor pool. Represented by Michael Philippe Blin, Sales Manager

Montagu Evans LLP Established in 1921, Montagu Evans LLP has developed into a multi-disciplinary, national commercial property practice. Our head office is located in Clarges Street, London W1 and in addition to a City of London office there are four further offices in Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and The Channel Islands. Our principle activities are Occupational and Investment Agency, Planning and development Consultancy, Valuation, Rating and Property Asset Management. Represented by Stephen English, Partner

21 new Active members: Salans LLP


Icera Inc

Telecom management

Semiconductor company

Represented by Nicolas Peltier, CEO

Represented by Sally Doherty, Head of Corporate

Represented by Lauriane Roussel, Associate

Ankora Edition

James Cowper LLP

Sales Force Provider

Represented by Franck Jaén, CEO

Represented by Sarah Robert, Senior tax manager

Represented by Camille Letuve, Director

Kuwahara Limited


Editions (B to B)

Bertrand & Marie Events design & Management

Represented by Marie-Pascale Ragon, Chairman

CGP Advisory Limited

CPG Research & Advisory Pty Limited is an independent asset consultant

Represented by Cécile Pitoun, Director

Design Flux Publishing

Represented by Michel Chanaud, Director

Entrepreneurs Partners

Advisory, consulting and investment capital to entrepreneurs around the world

Represented by Bruno Deschamps, Managing Director

Expense Reduction Analysts Cost, Purchase and Supplier management and Consultancy

Represented by Lawrence Holland, Managing Director

Accountants and business advisors

International & Domestic Removals

Represented by Karine Pommat, Sales Manager

Lombard International Assurance S.A Life assurance

Represented by Chris Edward, Senior Wealth Planning Consultant

Minco SA

Fabrication de composants electroniques

Represented by Joël Barbeau, CFO

Network Health Software Europe (NHSE) Stephan Odier, Administrator


Oil & Gas Engineering Recruitment

Represented by Nathalie Deguen, Contracting Manager

Legal services

French Property

Engineering, Manufacturing & Consulting in Electronics, IT, Mechanical

Represented by Yoann Pavy, Sales Engineer

Sureflap Ltd Pet products

Represented by Andy Bank, General Manager


IT Business Analysis / IT Project Management

Represented by Sergey Egoshkin, Sales Manager UK

Values Associates Management Consultancy

Represented by Sofiane Naït, Manager UK

Wellness Times Ltd Mobile Massage & Beauty Treatments

Represented by Tiphaine Lejeune, Director

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@ t he ch a mber...

Recent Events

23rd November: Franco-British Business Awards sponsored by

Four prizes crown a decade of rewarding excellence Four outstanding companies took away the honours at what is widely considered a key event in the annual UK business calendar. The occasion in question was the Franco-British Business Awards, which 200 guests celebrated last 23 November at London’s sophisticated May Fair Hotel.

||| Speaking in the presence of honoured guests, Maurice Gourdault Montagne, French Ambassador to the UK, and Sir Peter Westmacott, British Ambassador to France, CCFGB President Arnaud Vaissié said that the number of entrants was exceptional this year – 50 companies in all, half of them French and half British. ‘The excellent quality of all the applications’, he added, ‘made it very difficult for us and fellow jury members to finally select the winners.’ Vaissié was accompanied on the podium during the four-hour dinner and ceremony by Michel de Fabiani, the first Frenchman to become President of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Paris. This was the tenth year in succession that the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain and the Franco-British Chamber have celebrated these awards. The annual event promotes bilateral trade and links between France and the UK by recognising the key role of French and British companies, both

blue-chip and SMEs. Both the CCFGB and the FBCCI are themselves institutions of long vintage: the former was founded in 1883, while the latter established itself in 1873. On this occasion the special theme was Business and Sports, and two more esteemed guests, international rugby players Raphaël Ibanez and Ollie Philips, debated the topic before the awards presentation. Raphaël Ibanez is also the Ambassador of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain, and Phillips currently plays for Stade Français. Their discussion was moderated by Nicolas Madelaine, London correspondent for the publication Les Echos, one of the partners of the event. Air France, Barclays and Mazars were the main sponsors of the evening. Other sponsors were MIC Hotel and Conference Centre, and Sportys; and partners included Invest in France Agency (IFA), United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI), CCI

And the winners are: the interactive marketing and advertising agency 1000Mercis in the SME/Entrepreneur category; the pioneering electronics company Icera Inc. in Innovation; and the global defence and information systems consortium Thales for the Jury’s Special Award. Lastly the ingenuous start-up beloved of cat-lovers, SureFlap, won the ‘Coup de Coeur’ Award.

Supporting Sponsors and Partners

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© José Farinha Photography | | +44 (0)794 2294 777

@ t he ch a mber...

Winners with their awards at the 10th anniversary of the Franco-British Business Awards • From left to right Dorothée Lacroix (1000Mercis), Dr Nicholas Hill (SureFlap), Steve Chandler (Icera Inc), Claire Porter (Thales), Alistair McPhee (Thales)

International and French Radio London. Sponsors also generously provided prizes for each category, including a sommelier kit from Barclays, a DAB Radio and an interview offered by French Radio London, free membership to both Chambers to 1000Mercis, Icera Inc and Sureflap, free attendance to both Chambers’ events for one representative for one year for Thales, free individual tax and financial planning review for company directors, offered by Mazars, press coverage in the Financial Times and Les Echos, and a pair of Air France return tickets to and from Paris. HE Maurice Gourdault-Montagne described the event as an ‘important milestone for rewarding innovation, dynamism and entrepreneurship on both sides of the Channel... My wish is for the adventure to continue and for many projects to, once more, enter the competition in 2011’. HE Sir Peter Westmacott added his praise for ‘the links between our two countries, strengthening the Franco-British relationship as well as the significance of the work of both our Chambers. These Awards recognise and pay tribute to the hard work and creative spirit of Franco British companies and provides the opportunity to applaud some of the brightest stars in the Franco-British business firmament.” Speaking of the firmament, it was entirely apt that Henri Hourcade, General Manager Great Britain and Ireland for Air France/ KLM, was given the honour

of presenting the trophy for the SME/ Entrepreneur Award to Dorothée Lacroix, Country Manager UK of 1000Mercis. Nicola Riviere, Head of International Team, Barclays Corporate Coverage France, presented the Innovation Award to Steve Chandler, Vice President Legal at Bristol-based Icera. And David Herbinet, Partner, UK Executive at Mazars, presented the Jury’s Special Award to Alistair McPhee, Rail Signalling Solutions’ Managing Director at Thales. Typical of such events, winners ranged in size from the vast, such as Thales, a truly global concern in the defence industry, to the tiny firms, such as SureFlap. In between were newer, small to medium size enterprises that evoke the ingenuity and dedication that both CCFGB and the Franco-British Chamber prize so highly. Both entities help French and British SMEs develop their business on either side of the Channel by offering assistance in opening a subsidiary, accountancy and payroll services, fiscal representation and partner search. Previous year winners were Cornilleau in the Exportation Award category, Clydeunion Pumps (Implantation), GrIDsure (Innovation), Aldelia (Jury Award), and L’Atelier des Chefs (Coup de Cœur). And as is ever the case at each of the Chamber’s 50 annual events, members greatly enjoyed not only the meal and speeches, but also the chance to network, meet new colleagues and catch up with old ones. I

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2011 FBBA winners profiles Winner of the SME/Entrepreneur Award: ||| What do Yahoo,, Nespresso, Avis, Ebay UK and Easyjet have in common? Well, they all use the services of 1000 Mercis, an advertising and marketing group that helps customers design, produce and implement their interactive promotional campaigns. Nor are they the only thankful beneficiaries of 1000 Mercis’ services: others include Plan, Tagheuer, Expedia UK and Accor Hotels. It is clear to see why this particular firm won the FBBA SME/Entrepreneur Award, which rewards British and French SMEs who export to France or the UK, or who have established one or more subsidiaries in either country for at least three years. Since it was founded in France in February 2000, 1000 Mercis’ electronic customer management relationship (eCRM) programme has helped clients find new prospective clients, by collecting, analysing and exploiting data. Specifically, 1000 Mercis provides clients with the IT tools to achieve this via such techniques as viral data catching. The firm’s hallmark is innovation combined with interactivity. One unique platform is called ‘Email Attitude’ which selectively targets amongst a database of 16 million consumers. In addition, 1000 Mercis has

developed sites such as which focus on specific marketing requirements. The firm employs 130 employees, and places at clients’ disposal their experienced database creators, marketing professionals, statisticians and graphic designers who help firms make the most of online marketing. The firm also allows clients to improve their databases, run loyalty programmes and exploit the potential of iPhone applications. Always keen to keep abreast of developments, 1000 Mercis is now researching the use of the SQL internet server. 1000 Mercis has headquarters in Paris and offices in London and Barcelona, and it operates in 15 countries. Dorothée Lacroix, Country Manager UK of 1000 Mercis, who received the Award, said that British customers are more flexible than French, and are more oriented towards quality rather than volume of rental addresses. ‘Our approach has always been very pragmatic and prudent. We need to develop progressively towards our goal of steering our clients’ projects across Europe.’ I For more information, visit ‘1000 Mercis’s website at

Winner of the Jury’s Special Award: ||| With total revenues of €12.88bn in 2009 and 68,000 employees working in 50 countries, the Thales Group is truly one of the heavy hitters in defence and security, aerospace and transportation. Named after the Greek philosopher, the group provides sophisticated information systems for all four sectors, produced by a global network of 22,500 researchers. For its outstanding contributions to both the CCFGB and the Franco-British Chamber, Thales is a worthy winner of the 2010 FBBA Jury’s Special Award. While Thales was only named as such in 2000, its origins go back to Compagnie Française ThomsonHouston (CFTH), established in 1893. However, those early pioneers would be amazed at their successors’expertise in electronics, electromagnetism and optronics, not to mention software development and cognitive sciences. Now Thales is ‘stepping up to the security challenges of its customers in an increasingly complex world’, says the company. It has also earned plaudits for developing and

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deploying dual civil and military technologies. Amidst the headlines about high-profile Thales’ defence contracts, one might forget about their many civil applications. So it was fitting that the man receiving the Special Award was Alistair McPhee, who in 2009 joined Thales from Invensys Rail, and who now manages Thales Rail Signalling Solutions. The group prides itself on tailoring systems and services to the needs of its clients. For a giant conglomerate Thales evidently cherishes considerable nimbleness, and the ability to listen! Recently Thales provided key features for the latest class of British nuclear submarines. And Thales UK is the largest of the group’s international subsidiaries, generating 13 percent of its total revenue. ‘Innovation is embedded in the company’s corporate culture’, explained one spokesman. ‘It pervades every aspect of its activities, from R&D to marketing and sales, from business processes to employee relations.’ I For more information, visit Thales’s website at

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Winner of the Innovation Award: ||| Try to imagine a world without smart-phones, tablets or notebooks. Not easy, is it? The common thread that binds them is connectivity to the internet. And the modules and USB sticks that facilitate these cunning devices use chipsets. Founded in 2002 as a small startup in Bristol, Icera is now a world leader in the design, production and sales of soft modem chipsets. In itself that would justify the choice of this pioneering semiconductor company as winner of the FBBA Innovation Award. Icera is at the heart of the booming mobile broadband device market. Now it is the number two vendor in such products, delivering high performance with the smallest silicon die sizes for USB sticks, laptops, netbooks and smartphones. Icera has design locations in the UK, France, North America and China, and customer engineering and sales offices across three continents. Of Icera’s 300 staff, one key member is Steve Chandler, who develops their worldwide intellectual property strategy – and who proudly collected the FBBA Award for Icera. Certainly Icera meets the FBBA requirement of competence in research and development. Its products include Espresso smartphone platforms, low power

consumption DXP processors, Livanto, the world’s first wireless soft modem, and IceClear, which triples previous user data rates and the trade acknowledged as the mobile technology breakthrough of 2010. Over the years venture capital firms have invested $250m of equity funding into the business. Icera aims to ‘combine the highest user throughput with the smallest footprints and lowest costs, allowing for smaller, faster and more affordable high technology devices.’ CEO Stan Boland said that Icera’s recent software upgrades ‘save design time and cost, and enable our customers to get products to market faster.’ Icera sells directly to the world’s largest mobile manufacturers. Since launching Icera-powered products in Japan in 2007, more than 40 other global operators have adopted the firm’s technology. Next in Icera’s crosshairs are platforms for high performance Android smartphones; and it plans to recruit 50 software engineers from France’s prestigious SophiaAntipolis science park – smart moves indeed. I For more information, visit Icera’s website at

Winner of the ‘Coup de Coeur’ Award: ||| Just like in Tom and Jerry, it seems the cat always has the last laugh – not only over predatory dogs but even over fellow felines. Now technology has given moggies an added advantage in the form of SureFlap, which at a stroke dispenses with cumbersome, uncomfortable and often-lost electronically tagged collars. Instead SureFlap’s innovator, Cambridge physicist and inveterate cat-lover, Dr Nick Hill, came up with a means of using his pet Flipper’s identification microchip to open a cat flap. Simple though the idea was, it took three years of intensive research and development before Sureflap emerged in early 2008. ‘Flipper is much happier now… SureFlap was worth the wait’, observed Hill. The invention also clearly charmed the FBBA jury. Commented Arnauld Vaissié when giving Hill the

coveted “Coup de Coeur” prize: ‘We are going to reward one company who totally seduced our jury members thanks to the originality of its product.’ No doubt Flipper remains blissfully unaware of SureFlap’s genius. But INFO readers might appreciate the following data: the devise is compatible with all common identifier microchip types, a simple onebutton programming learns your cat’s chip number in seconds, the receiving device is easily installed in doors, windows and walls, it fits into the hole left by most cat flaps, and its batteries typically last for up to 12 months. So is it farewell to catfights, spraying incidents and unbidden visits to your home from the neighbourhood stray? Flipper hopes so – and so does Dr Hill. I For more information, visit SureFlap’s website at

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Recent Events

27th January: Retail Industry Event sponsored by Chanel

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Michael Ward speaking at the Chamber Cocktail

© José Farinha Photography |

||| Harrods has set the gold standard for service, for quality and for consistency. This is the recipe for its long history as London’s premier retailer, says Michael Ward, Harrods managing director and a man with an exceptional grasp of the luxury market. Michael Ward addressing a Retail Industry Event arranged by the Chamber on the evening of January 27 at the Connaught, a premium hotel in London’s Mayfair district. ‘At a time when many shops are standardising and aiming for the average, we have risen beyond blandness to achieve something of real interest and quality.’ Visiting Harrods is not merely a shopping activity it is a ‘retail experience, we are completely in the luxury sector.’ The company seeks to build close relationships with customers, through its Reward Card and its ‘clienteling system’. This way, the shop knows what its customers buy, what they spend, how often they visit and when their birthday is. The clienteling magazine goes every month to 110,000 customers. As with so much of the luxury sector, the shop is benefiting from an influx of visitors to London from the Middle East and China. Over the last four years, sales from China have grown 45%, from Russia 25% and from India 42%. Many French luxury brands are sold at Harrods and Michael Ward said that over the last five years, French brands have dramatically (150% to 16%) outpaced Italian competition in terms of compound growth. Looking forward to the outlook, Michael Ward said the shop was less likely to be affected by the VAT rise from 17.5% to 20%, than by the possibility of a hike in interest rates, which he believes would impact on discretionary spending. Answering questions from the audience, Michael Ward outlined the store’s comprehensive and rigorous staff selection and training system. He noted that Harrods launched the first degree programme in retailing in the UK. I

© José Farinha Photography |

Harrods sets the gold standard for retailing, Managing Director, Michael Ward tells Chamber cocktail

The event was well attended

Harrods Statistics • 1.3 Million customers visit Harrods every year from 134 countries around the world • 2.9 Million carrier bags • 16 tonnes of cupcakes sold during Christmas • One famous Harrods bag sold every 12 seconds • 4 thousand packets of snow sold during the Christmas period • 5000 employees and 1 million square feet

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forthcoming events 17th February 2011

CEO Breakfast 08.00 – 10.00 £40 + VAT per person At the Andaz Hotel

||| Guest Speaker: Stephen Burgin, UK Country President of Alstom ||| About stephen burgin Stephen Burgin has worked in engineering for over 30 years and now heads Alstom in the UK as its country president. Burgin, 53, oversees the strategic direction and performance of Alstom in the UK and leads 6,500 employees in Alstom’s Power, Grid and Transport businesses, across more than 30 locations. Under his direction, Alstom’s UK business plays an important role in helping the country to meet its significant future energy and transport needs. For more details, please contact Cécilia Gonzalez on or on 020 7092 6641

||| About Alstom Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 96,500 people in more than 70 countries, and had sales of over € 23 billion in 2009/10. I

1st march 2011

Gastronomic Patron Dinner 19.00 – 22.30 At the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

||| The Chamber is giving its Patron Members a preview of the splendidly restored St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. On 1 March, a week before it opens to the public, guests and their partners will be able to enjoy a Champagne reception and a gastronomic dinner in this Victorian architectural masterpiece. The original building – called the Midland Grand Hotel - was designed and built by the foremost Victorian architect of the time, Sir George Gilbert Scott, and opened on 5 May 1873. The historic hotel has now been lovingly and masterfully restored to its rightful position as one of London’s most iconic hotels. Patrons will have the pleasure of being greeted by Kevin Kelly, the General Manager of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. They will then be guided round the Grade 1-listed building by historian, Royden Stock, a Midland Grand expert. To enable guests to enjoy the hotel’s historic diversity, each course of the dinner will be served in a different room. Such an “itinerant dinner” is a first for a Patron event, but this is fitting for such a very special occasion! To crown the event, the dinner will be prepared by Julien Maisonneuve, the Executive Head Chef of the St Pancras, who joined the Hotel from the Tom Aitkens Group. I Patron Members only (main representative). For more details, please contact Cécilia Gonzalez on or on 020 7092 6641

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forthcoming events

7th march and 28th March 2011

Dîner des Chefs – 2nd Edition

D îner des Chefs 18.00 - 22.30 At Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

||| About raymond blanc: Born in Besançon, France, in 1949, Raymond Blanc is acknowledged as one of the finest Chefs in the world, though he has never had any formal training. He is also a philanthropist, is involved in the arts and, most of all, he loves to pass on his knowledge. Blanc’s BBC programmes have made him the best-known French Chef in his adopted country, and despite being a good French Republican, he is one of only three such Chefs to have been honoured with the Order of the British Empire. He has even acquired a British sense of humour. In 1984 he fulfilled a personal vision, to create a hotel and restaurant in harmony with its wonderful natural setting where his guests would find perfection in food, comfort, service and welcome: Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, in verdant Oxfordshire is now synonymous with all that is finest in dining and hospitality. Le Manoir is the only hotel restaurant to have achieved and maintained two Michelin Status for 27 years - It is now a modern classic. The Chamber would like to thank Pernod Ricard, who have kindly accepted to provide Champagne for the cocktail as well as the Cognac. The Chamber would also like to thank Citroën who will drive all the guests to and from Le Manoir in the new C6 Citroën cars.

||| About The Luxury Club: The Luxury Club chaired by Thierry Outin, MD Hermés GB, of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain brings together CEOs and Directors operating within Luxury markets (including fashion labels, gastronomic restaurants, 5* hotels, luxury food and beverage brands) who face similar challenges. In addition to providing opportunities for networking, the Club’s mission is to offer useful information and services through the exchange of experience and expertise. The Club holds three breakfast meetings per year in Luxury Hotels as well as three Dîners des Chefs. I For more details, contact Jonathan Rosen,

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Thierry Outin’s triple formula for promoting l’art de vivre Thierry Outin, new chair of the Luxury Club, explains the secrets of luxury’s success, extols the values of knowing, sharing and enjoying, and hints that French retailers should not rest on their laurels, but could learn a thing or two from their English counterparts...

||| Thierry Outin, the new chairman of the Chamber’s Luxury Club, is the managing director of Hermes in Great Britain. He has been in the luxury sector since the late 80s and with Hermes since 2002. His early expertise was in the perfumes sector, but later in his career he has expanded into general management. Before coming to the UK some two years ago, he was a senior manager in Hermes business in Hong Kong and there played a key role in the local chamber. He believes that the Luxury Club should exemplify the key principles of ‘sharing, knowing and enjoying.’ The ‘sharing’ relates to the power of networking among people who know their business from a high and deep level. The experts who meet at the Club’s breakfasts and dinners have an unusual level of knowledge and Thierry Outin these settings provide the location for exchange of experiences. But the Club is also a place to acquire knowledge that may be outside their specific remit, yet knowing is relevant in an important and growing business. The luxury sector, by its nature seeks to promote the ‘art de vivre’, says Thierry Outin. So it would only be natural if those active in selling that high art did not wish to enjoy some luxury themselves sometimes. So Mr Outin speaks with approval of the recent diner des chefs, with Helene Darroze. Meetings should be relaxed and formality

should be avoided, says this expert in his field. The resilience of the luxury sector has impressed him, who sees watches and jewellery rebounding from a difficult few years. Clients are opting for quality and sustainable products rather than more transitory fashion objects. In an important market trend, recession has prompted polarisation from the middle ground. Purchasers are either spending heavily and buying expensive quality, or playing safe and spending less on more massmarket goods. Whichever way it goes, luxury producers are enjoying powerful growth, as is being demonstrated by their financial performance. The new big spenders come from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. But London remains the Mecca for luxury goods. Thierry Outin sees no shift away from the power of the UK’s retailing marketplace. Moreover, he says French companies can learn lessons from local retail techniques. ‘We have the concepts, but the English retailers are more pragmatic. They know how to implement the ideas and do the marketing, and we should also pay attention to the way they are developing the full potential of e-commerce’. Mr Outin says that his company has maintained its marketing spend through recession, to sustain its image profile. I

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forthcoming events

17th march 2011

Interactive Workshop - Papillon Consulting special rate: £390 + VAT instead of £840 + VAT 09.30 - 18.00 Follow up: 19 May (3 hours) At the French Chamber of Commerce

||| ‘How to Grow Profitably Your Business for the Long-term’ This interactive workshop provides the solutions to unlock organisational potential, to develop future-proof growth strategies focused on core capabilities, to identify and meet customers’ expectations and to begin a gradual transition towards long-term sustainable business growth. In challenging economic times, company owners and senior executives will get tools to make their business more resilient, more adaptable, more focused on customers and more sustainable in the long-term. They will learn how to identify what differentiates them from the competition, how to anticipate and deal with future challenges, how to improve the way they interact with customers and how they can start building truly longlasting profitable organisations. I Who Should Attend? Managing directors, business owners, chief executives, senior executives in charge of business development. The number of attendees will be limited to 15. For more details, please contact Elsa Brechotte, or on 020 7092 6643

24th march 2011

Member to Member: Cocktail & Exhibition

member to member £40 + VAT per person At the Royal Garden Hotel

||| The Chamber’s largest cocktail event of the year will take place on 24 March, at the Royal Garden Hotel, in Kensington. Some 250 participants will attend, making it an ideal place to meet other members. The Cocktail also gives members the opportunity to take an exhibition stand, where companies can display their products and discuss their offers with visitors. Stands already bought by members will show off French food products, luxury goods, hotel discounts and professional services. A tombola brings a lighter note to the cocktail. Accompanying the Cocktail is our Member to Member offers book, where members can advertise their products and services and make offers to other members. The book is divided into the following sections: business services; languages and recruitment; hotels and restaurants; retail; wines and catering. Space is still available for advertisers and those that would like to place offers. The value of advertisements and offers will be enhanced this year by the presence of the new Chamber website. This will carry the entire book, for members’ attention. If you wish to exhibit or attend, please contact Elsa Brechotte on or on 020 7092 6643

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@ t he ch a mber... Worth the wait... The Chamber’s new website is here! identification to buy our business guides (Grande-Bretagne l’Indispensable and very soon France- On the Move!) online.

Maximising the value of membership From March 2011, you will also be able to consult our new Member to Member Special Offers Book. Furthermore, an enjoyable “wish list” form for members allows the Chamber to tailor its services to your individual needs and targets. Easier access to patron members is also available on the Home Page and About Us tabs via a footer banner of clickable logos. Similarly the site invites users to take a virtual tour of the Chamber’s High Holborn headquarters (under the Home tab); and you can “meet” the Board, the Advisory Council, and the CCFGB Team. In that way you will get to know your Chamber in a better and more useful way.

||| Launched on Monday, 7 February, the Chamber’s new website promises visitors all they could wish for, with improved services and access to the latest Chamber and market news.

Consulting your virtual library Under the Events tab, you can plan ahead with the forthcoming events calendar , revisit past ones, or spot yourself in the site’s photo gallery, which covers the Chamber’s last nine big meetings (including Dîner de la Rentrée, AFL, Gala Dinner, FBBA and Dîner des Chefs...). Page-turning software allows you to read the two latest issues of INFO magazine online, and the Chamber’s newsletters. Our shop allows members to register for events with a username and password log-in; on your first visit all you need to do is create an account which will be instantly checked by our membership department. However, visitors need no

A wealth of information Users can learn more about the Chamber’s specialised forums, on topics as diverse as Corporate Social Responsibility, Cross-Cultural Relations, and Human Resources, amongst others. Lastly, a Business Development menu helps firms to find information on and learn the characteristics about French and British markets. Future developments The Chamber’s new website is just the start. Future developments may take interesting directions. Besides a Linked-In page, our next step will be an Extranet for members to access exclusive information and consult the Directory online. The essential architecture is there; now we invite you to build the site the way you want… I Our website has been built by Bondonneau eSolutions. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Guy Bondonneau and his incredible team for all the hard work and time they have put into this project.

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From the Chamber to the cheese trade When Fabrice Beillevaire came to London, he took a desk at the Chamber. Ten months later, he had set up a cheese shop near Knightsbridge. He says that without the Chamber contacts and support, life would have been much more difficult.

||| When Fabrice Beillevaire came to London a year ago, in January 2010, he had a plan for a business, but few contacts or business colleagues. In short he was isolated, but ambitious. ‘When you set up a business you are quite alone’, he says. That all ended when he set up his office at the French Chamber of Commerce as a VIE (‘volontaire international en enterprise’). There he found help with his tax and administrative affairs. In due course he met people in a similar situation, seeking to set up a business but still exploring the territory. In due course he also met his lawyer Alexandre Terrasse of Jeffrey Green Russell and his real estate agent, Stephen English of Montagu Evans LLP. ‘They were very helpful and very professional. The Chamber is a place for socialising with other people and getting useful guidance.’ These provided the foundation for the Beillevaire cheese store which opened in November 2010 on Montpelier Street, Knightsbridge, across the road from Harrods. Much of the splendid selection of cheeses, yogurts, butters and other dairy products on sale at the shop is sourced from the Beillevaire farm in Machcoule

Colourful advertising for the Beillevaire brand in Britain

Beillevaire shop interior

in the West of France, and from ten farms close by. The family business, which is run by Fabrice’s father and mother, insists that the cows providing the milk for its produce are fed only on grass rather than soya. The recipe has proved remarkably successful. Beillevaire has 20 shops, of which 14 are in Paris and 6 in the west of France. It also supplies numerous outside markets around France. It has a turnover of no less than €30 million. They employ 180 people and have a range of 450 cheeses from 200 farms. The decision to set up a London shop was taken by Fabrice and his father. His father said to him that he needed to prove his credibility as a manager and the British business would be his test. He has given himself four years to prove that he can make the London venture work. Once his shop in Montpelier Street has proved successful, he will launch other shops in London. The French community furnishes much of his current business, but Fabrice has a mission to bring his cheese to the British. The opportunities abound. I Nicolas Kochan

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Questionnaire De Proust Jonathan Ross


orn in 1960 in London, Jonathan Ross is one of the most famous television and radio presenters in Great Britain. He made his television debut in 1987 on Channel 4 and has never left the screen since. His most famous programme was the comedy chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, broadcast on BBC One from November 2001 to July 2010. He interviewed some of the biggest stars in the world and always knew how to mix controversies with humour. Jonathan is now the face of the channel Cinémoi where he is presenting his favourite films and where he will run several interviews with French stars, beginning with Luc Besson in February. My favourite animal: Dogs. And ferrets. And monkeys

My favourite prose author: Nabokov

My favourite poets: Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Smokey Robinson, John Donne and Tom Waits

My favourite heroine in fiction: Lyra Belacqua from the Northern Lights book

My favourite composers:

© Ki Price

Phillip Glass, Brian Eno, Tom Waits, David Bowie, Rufus Wainwright, Bryan Ferry, Puccini

The principal aspect of my personality Playful

The quality that I desire in a woman Humour, friendship, strength, compassion, curves

What I appreciate most about my friends Loyalty, humour, warmth, intelligence

My main fault Too easily bored…

My dream of happiness Relaxing with my family, somewhere warm and comfortable. With lots of distractions…

My greatest private misfortune: That some people close to me do not have the best of health

What I should like to be: Alive for quite a bit longer

The place I would like to live in: Wherever my family is

My favourite colour: Possibly purple, but perhaps bright orange or lime, the colours used by the brilliant Joe Colombo in his designs

The flower I like: Exotic looking ones, that look as if you might, if really hungry, be able to eat them as well

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My favourite painters: Rousseau ( Pierre Etienne Theodore, not Henri), Rubens, Maxfield Parrish, Brueghel, Leyndecker, Archimboldo, Vargas

My heroes in real life: Astronauts, scientists, boxers, rappers and rock’n roll stars

My favourite name: Algernon

What I hate the most of all: Lies. Deliberate ones

Historical figure I despise most: Mao Zedong

My favourite food and drink: Sushi with hot sake and cold Japanese beer

The military event that I admire the most: The Russian defence of Stalingrad

The reform which I admire the most: The privilege of Universal Franchise

The gift of nature I would like to have: To fly

My present state of mind: Happy, alert. Prevaricating

Faults for which I have the most indulgence: Gluttony. Priapism. Sloth

My motto Every day, give yourself a little treat

Fournisseur d’énergie à Londres Pour plus d’information visitez


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