Publicis shifts clients from flagship to startup

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[Paris] Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide is moving a batch of international clients-including Nestle ice cream, Heineken and Allied Domecq-from the network's flagship Paris agency Publicis Conseil to a creatively-led Parisian startup. Publicis is setting up 100%-owned Marcel, named after Publicis' revered founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, to better compete with medium-sized creative shops like Mother that are increasingly attractive to major international clients such as Unilever and Coke. French creative duo Frederic Raillard and Farid Mokart, who were most recently a creative team at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, will be co-presidents of Marcel. The agency opens with 20 to 30 staff who worked on Marcel's new accounts at Publicis Conseil. "Some clients are looking for an agency with a strong personality and a different way of doing things," Mr. Raillard said. Marcel will have an international focus and if successful may open in other cities. Fred and Farid, as the duo prefer to be known, switched agencies frequently after meeting at Havas' Euro RSCG, ending up at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, where they attracted Goodby's attention with Gold Lion-winning work for Xbox at the 2002 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
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