PARIS—The Invest in France Agency has selected an integrated team including Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide to promote economic development in France. The campaign, designed to improve the image of France and its attractiveness to foreign investors, will target business and opinion leaders in the U.S., China, Japan, the U.K., and Germany.
The campaign will presumably address several issues that impact the image of France internationally, including its refusal to support the Bush administration’s unilateral invasion of Iraq, which has led to some hostility between France and the U.S., the perception that French governance standards encourage crony capitalism.
But according to Invest in France, the country “is a land of business and entrepreneurs, counting nearly two and a half million companies…. France also benefits from the quality of its education system, ensuring technicians, supervisors, engineers, government employees and others in key positions have the training they need to do their jobs efficiently. The French labor force is creative and conscientious, as is demonstrated by one of the world’s lowest rates of absenteeism. And productivity is among the highest for any major economy, topping performances in the U.S.”
According to an Ogilvy spokesperson, the campaign is targeting the U.S. and Japan because of their status as global economic powers; China because of its future potential; and the U.K. because it is a traditional power; and Germany because it shares many issues in common with France.
The three-year campaign has an initial budget of around 10 million Euros (approximately $12.25 million) for public relations, advertising, and special events. That budget will cover the first phase of the campaign, and it is not clear how it will be divided between the various disciplines, or among the various countries.
The Ogilvy team, which is built around the WPP-owned company’s 360 Degree Branding idea, beat out two French holding companies—Publicis Groupe and Euro RSCG—for the assignment. Fleishman Hillard and Porter Novelli had also pitched the account.
The team will be led by Jane Goodman, director of Ogilvy’s Paris office, with support in the U.S. and other key markets.