Rémi is the founder of BETC Paris, France’s leading agency, and Global Chief Creative Officer of the Havas network. Now in existence for 16 years, BETC holds a unique place in the international advertising industry.
Named “most creative French advertising agency” 12 times in 16 years, BETC has carved out a brand image that is original and resolutely modern for its many clients, which include Evian, Air France, Peugeot, Canal+, Petit Bateau, and Lacoste. BETC regularly wins international prizes for its campaigns. In 2010, BETC was cited as the second-best agency in the world, according to The Gunn Report . In addition, BETC’s infamous Canal+ spot, “The Closet,” was confirmed to be the most awarded film in the world that same year.
Rémi’s recent achievements include the Evian Rollerbabies campaign, which has spawned the most viewed online ad of all time (certified by the Guinness World Records at over 120 million views and counting.)
As Chairman of BETC, Rémi has consistently challenged the traditional limits of advertising, opening up his agency to new creative fields. Since 2001, Rémi and the agency’s TV production department have produced the PANIK parties in Paris, bringing together such artists from the alternative rock and electronic music scenes as Justice, The Film, SebastiAn, Jay-Jay Johanson, Archive, Peter Kruder, and Neneh Cherry.
In 2003, Rémi inaugurated the Passage du Désir, an 800-square-meter space on the agency’s ground floor dedicated to fashion, design, art, photography (showing, among others, Hussein Chalayan, Yohji Yamamoto, Viktor & Rolf, Christian Lacroix, the ‘Festival d’Automne á Paris’, Rineke Dijkstra, Ruri, Joana Vasconcelos, World Press Photo/Paris Month, and Dysfashional). It is Rémi’s belief that advertising should be open to and engage with the world around it, thereby creating new ways to interact with society and consumers.
Rémi is Head Lecturer at the Institut des Sciences Politiques in Paris. From 2003 to 2007, he was President of the French Art Directors Club, the association that represents advertising creatives, and in 2008, he was Guest Editor of The Gunn Report , which ranks the best creative agencies around the world. In 2008, he conceived and wrote the book BETC Paris: Global Advertising Agency , published and distributed worldwide by BIS Publishers. Recently, Rémi served as foreman of the D&AD TV advertising jury and was voted onto the Andys jury. He has also been President of the Film, Press, Outdoor, Radio and the Integrated juries at Spikes Asia.
In recent years, Rémi Babinet has focused his efforts on creating a micro network in five international locations. BETC London, opened in June 2011, was the first step in the development of this network. BETC London will build an independent roster of domestic U.K. clients and U.K.-based global clients.
Mercedes Erra is Executive President of Havas Worldwide, formerly Euro RSCG Worldwide, Managing Director of Havas, and Founder of France’s leading advertising agency BETC. She is also Honorary President of the HEC Association (France’s most prestigious business school). Mercedes is a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur and was recently promoted to Officier of the Légion d'Honneur; she is also a recipient of the French National Order of Merit. She has five children.
Mercedes was born in Catalonia and came to France at the age of six. Graduated from HEC and the Sorbonne (she has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Literature), Mercedes teaches a post-graduate course (Marketing and Corporate Communication) at the Paris 2 University (Assas). She is a noted advisor on subjects related to consumer issues and on all subjects related to brand strategy.
Mercedes is a branding expert: She builds and manages global brands. As a result, she created two divisions focusing on consumer and brand expertise: BETC Consulting and BETC Consumer Intelligence. She has contributed to brands’ major strategic shifts (health for Danone, youth for Evian, Air France vision – making the sky the best place on earth).
BETC, the agency network that she has been managing since 1995, was named "second most creative agency in the world" by The Gunn Report in January 2011 and “best creative agency” in France by CB News in 2010, for the 13th time in 16 years. BETC was also the most awarded French agency at Cannes Lions in 2010.
Mercedes is personally committed to the Elle Foundation and the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, of which she is a founding member. She is also a member of Human Rights Watch French Committee and a permanent member of the French Commission on the Image of Women in the Media.
In January 2010, Mercedes was appointed president of the board of the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration located in Paris. In 2011, she was also appointed to the Board of Directors of Havas, Accor, France Télévisions and la Société de la Tour Eiffel in 2011.
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