Advertising News South Africa

2 Havas Paris execs step aside following investigation into abuse allegations

Adweek has reported that Julien Carette, CEO, and Christophe Coffre, creative director, both from the Havas Paris have stepped aside while the Vivendi-owned advertising network begun an investigation into allegations made against members of its leadership in Paris.
Source: © dare havas  Havas Paris
Source: © dare havas dare havas Havas Paris

This follows the anonymous accusations made on the Instagram account Balance Ton Agency (Balance Your Agency).

The account, which states that it “reports abuse in advertising”, currently has 338,000 followers and has highlighted the actions of two individuals from Havas—cited as “JC” and “CC”—with testimonies published about their behaviour.

Globeecho reports that anxious to put out the fire as quickly as possible, the Vivendi communication agency, of which the Bolloré family is the largest shareholder, took the lead, ensuring that it took these accusations “very seriously”.

According to an email made public by “Balance your agency”, “It has already announced internally that it has mandated “an independent firm” responsible for carrying out “an audit to bring up any reports”.

Carette and Coffre have officially, been particularly targeted by the messages, will step down for “two to three months”, according to a senior executive of Havas, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Globeecho reports: “And the latter to specify that “We must listen to the testimonies”, must also “objectivise things”. If necessary, the group will be able to take advantage of this crisis to “to improve things in terms of management and behaviuor”, explains this senior executive of Havas, anxious to show the goodwill of the company.

Adweek reports that a Havas Group spokesperson confirmed the investigation adding: “We take allegations of this nature very seriously indeed and do not tolerate discrimination or abuse of any kind at Havas. We will act on any and all findings from the enquiry.”

Balance your agency

The page was started by Anne Boistard in September 2020 as a response to her own professional burnout as well as the #metoo movement and growing accusations across the advertising sector of inappropriate conduct.

A comment from the moderators of the page in response to one post that went live last week states: “These people have been at the head of the group for years and allegedly abused their power over young women but also over a journalist from a specialised press magazine.”

Not the first

These are not the first advertising executives in France to face scrutiny in recent years over similar allegations. In 2019, creative agency Herezie parted way with its creative director Baptiste Client over accusations of inappropriate behaviour according to the Adweek report.

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