Havas-owned BETC is entering Brazil in a startup with local creative Erh Ray, and Gal Barradas, who was CEO of WPP-owned digital agency FBiz until a few months ago.
Mr. Ray was most recently a partner at Borghi/Lowe, but left that Sao Paulo agency more than a year ago.
Paris-based BETC, one of France's biggest agencies, opened BETC London in 2011 as the first step in creating an international network with a few select offices. The London office has been successful, but was rocked earlier this month by the unexpected departure of its two local founders, CEO Matthew Charlton and Neil Dawson, the executive creative director.
BETC has been eyeing Brazil for a while, and speculation that the agency was in talks with Mr. Ray started last year. BETC planned to announce the news by holding a press conference next Tuesday at lunchtime at fashionable Sao Paulo restaurant Dalva e Dito, owned by celebrity chef Alex Atala. But within minutes of Mr. Ray emailing invitations to Brazilian journalists on Wednesday afternoon, local trade press journalists had figured out the story and posted it.
BETC declined to comment before next week's press conference.
Although most international agencies entered Brazil years ago, BETC isn't the only latecomer. The news comes just a week after it was revealed that MDC-owned CP&B is in advanced negotiations with two leading creative directors from Almap BBDO, Andre Kassu and Marcos Medeiros, to do a startup in Sao Paulo with CP&B.