Fred & Farid Meet Marcel

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French creative duo Fred Raillard and Farid Mokart are making headlines again, this time in their native country. The pair have been named co-presidents of Marcel, a new Paris-based unit of Publicis Groupe that is being positioned as a global creative hub for the network. Named for Publicis founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, the shop -- supervised directly by group chairman and CEO Maurice Levy -- will aim to attract international talent and clients, who -- Marcel's new presidents observe -- seem increasingly eager to work with smaller global boutiques. Motorola, for example, recently approached Mother and 180/Amsterdam, among other agencies, before handing a branding assignment to 180.

"It's a strong statement from Maurice and the Publicis Groupe," says Raillard of the fact that Marcel will be headed by a creative team. "We have a dream for Marcel, and we'll do anything we can to make it happen." In particular, the pair say in a statement that they hope to establish the "first real international agency based in Paris," a city whose industry they say is too "French-oriented." "Marcel intends to become a mix of the French culture, and the culture of all the international people we’re going to hire," they add.

Fred & Farid rose to international prominence in 2001 and 2002 with back-to-back Gold Lion wins for two different agencies, CLM BBDO in Paris and BBH in London. In late 2002, the pair joined Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, where they spearheaded work for Netflix and Pony before announcing their departure in February.

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