All about 'education'
Calling the move an "important educational experience," Mr. Bollore told Advertising Age that "[it] is a way for me to learn more about media," adding it is also a way to demonstrate "my involvement in the company. It is important for clients."
MPG is the media-buying and -planning unit of Havas, which also owns global creative network Euro RSCG Worldwide as well as Arnold. Mr. Bollore, CEO of the Bollore Group, took control of Havas in July 2005 when he won control of the company's board and ousted former chairman and CEO Alain de Pouzilhac.
Several months after that, he began buying shares of Aegis Group, parent of media agencies Carat, Vizeum and Isobar, as well as research company Synovate. His group owns 29.12% of Aegis, and Mr. Bollore has made two unsuccessful attempts to gain seats on Aegis' board and is keen to find a way for Aegis and MPG to work more closely together.
Mr. Bollore said France is the only country in which he plans to be involved in MPG. "We are No. 1 in the market, and many of our top clients are here." MPG France serves marketers such as Dannon and Peugeot, among others. MPG France's leaders, Bertrand Lestapis and Dominique Delport, will continue as executive president and director general, respectively.
MPG on Jan. 23 said Maria Luisa Francoli, a longtime executive with the network, is the global CEO. She took over from Alfonso Rodes Villa, who now heads Havas Media, and is the brother of Fernando Rodes, CEO of Havas.