Founded in 1988 by Odile Vernier, who started her career as a journalist on French television and then worked with the French Minister of Heath & Finance, Beau Fixe today is led by Vernier and François Barthélémy, a former sports reporter who joined her later and who specializes in sponsorship, technology, and crisis communication. Together, they provide advice to companies on managing their intangible assets, building long-lasting relationships with their stakeholders, and targeting decision-makers and opinion leaders, and lead a firm that with 16 people ranks in the top 20 in the French market—but ranks higher in terms of awareness and reputation, particularly when it comes to its media relations capabilities.
Beau Fixe is a full-service public relations operation. It has considerable strength in consumer, where it has worked with major food companies such as Nestlé and Heinz and beverage brands such as Bacardi Martini, Cointreau and Volvic; with hygiene and beauty clients including Durex, Kimberly Clark, and Tampax; and with household products from SG Johnson, Electrolux and Procter & Gamble. It also has considerable experience on the technology front, where references include Hewlett-Packard, NEC, Olivetti, Unisys, and Yahoo! And it has capabilities in corporate communications (Electrolux, Packard Bell, Pizza Hut, Samsug); public affairs (Geront D’Expo, the French pharmaceutical research association, the Water Information Centre); healthcare (Bayer, Pfizer’s Viagra, and several OTC products from Georgia-Pacific); and crisis (the insurance company Assurance General de France encourages its clients to work with Beau Fixe to protect their reputations at times of crisis).
Growth for the year was around 10 percent, with new business coming from clients including Knight Vinke Asset Management, Intermarché, Esomar, and Zwilling. The addition of institutional investment advisory firm KVAM, fresh from its successful campaign for governance reform at Shell and now targeting giant French corporation Suez, took Beau Fixe into a new and challenging area. The firm also continued its successful program for the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, promoting French investment in the Cincinnati region.
The firm works on international assignments as a member of the IPREX network.