While he could have unhitched smoothly after a successful career that led him to the title of president of Omnicom Media Group France and vice president of DDB Worldwide, Hervé Brossard chose … the difficulty. The sentence is not free.
The ex-right-back of "France Pub", the football team of the pub, has agreed to chair the group Sid Lee Europe, a subsidiary of the Japanese Hakuodo, the second player in communication in Asia behind Dentsu Aegis, with an income 272.335 million yen in 2018, with 345 subsidiaries and nearly 19,000 employees. It's up to Hervé Brossard to make Sid Lee Paris (22 million euros in turnover), the Hakuodo bridgehead in Europe. With, in mind, the stubborn intention of imposing the Japanese group against the biggest. Because Hakuodo has released his checkbook.
The battle is won. But precisely, Hervé Brossard, black belt of Japanese jijitsu, likes nothing more than the challenges. The brawl, that Hollywood-like publicity ad, plus Gary Cooper that Bradley Cooper, often ends up winning through his tenacity. For energy, work, it took him a lot to be an international boss of DDB, a subsidiary of the American Omnicom, world number two in the world of communication … alongside competitors born in Paris, from HEC or Essec.
Chemically incompatible universes
Gifted? Rather tenacious. At the beginning, Hervé Brossard and the Parisian advertisers came from a priori chemically uncomfortable universe. Châteauroux, where he was born, the football, the bars of the city that they skate with his friend Gerard Depardieu, another native of Châteauroux, and a certain Denisot, constitute so many red threads punctuating his career. In his autobiography "It's like that", Gérard Depardieu writes: "I'm a street dog, that's the image of me, and yet, as soon as I enter Brossard, I'm invited to sit at the table, I feel more beautiful (…) I do not hide anything from my parents, my little traffic … Others would have thrown me outside, Instead, they ask me to stay for dinner. They never have a word to judge me (…) If I did not get completely lost, I probably owe it to Brossard. "
But all this has only one time. His law degree in his pocket and while he finishes his business school in 1975, Hervé Brossard postulates for an internship at Dupuy Compton (now Saatchi & Saatchi), one of most reputable agencies of the time. He stayed one year before moving on to DMB & B and the Colgate budget.
"Things never go fast enough"
In a café rather bobo of the ninth arrondissement, Hervé Brossard, black turtleneck, elegant gray jacket, then expresses himself with the distance of the man who succeeded and echoes his memories with an offbeat irony. And confesses, first and foremost its faults, how to cut the grass under the feet of its detractors: "I can be unbearable because I'm not patient! And likely even though I made big progress, thanks to the martial arts … " Qualities, anyway? "Determined. Opiniâtre for the things I like. And generous. An old executive adds, "He's annoying but endearing. "
In short, Hervé Brossard is appreciated for its bite, even if the spirits mocking his smooth side, glamorous. "His physique probably made him uneducated at first, because he was taken for a fop, but he also constituted a fantastic engine for him, to show that he was not only that, but also had a brain well done, and a real point of view on creation, "says an elder.
Moreover, Hervé Brossard learned to parry the blows with a good dose of self-mockery. "In 1977, I was debauched by the DDB agency, which wanted to strengthen its marketing skills. But the first day, as I was heading to the office of Alain Mounier, president of the agency, to introduce myself … I meet Gilles Bensimon, the famous fashion photographer, who launches me: "Well, then for the photo, you undress and put yourself in underpants! I was taken aback. And then I said to myself "After all? Why not! " says Hervé Brossard. " A few years later, someone told me he saw on a side of a bus in New York a mannequin Eminence underwear that looked like me terribly. I mentioned a chance! "
His brain is well done anyway allows him to quickly climb the ladder until becoming CEO of the group DDB France in 1989. This is the time when, with Christian Vince, creative director, hired in 1986, the agency designs creations in the vein of legendary big boss Bill Bernbach. DDB Paris fits in this vein … and adds prices to the point of being a small creative nugget. This is The Agency of the moment with BDDP, also a subsidiary of Omnicom.
In 2000, finally, Hervé Brossard took the presidency of DDB Continental Europe and became in November 2002, vice president of DDB Worldwide, in New York and in Paris. In the process, he was elected (and re-elected) president of the Association of Communication Consulting Agencies (AACC) from 2004 to 2009. Before making a "jump" in 2008, on the side of the media (not very far) , at Omnicom Media Group (OMG), he will eventually lead. Then, a few weeks ago, to open an unexpected Japanese chapter with Hakuodo and Sid Lee. What give him the urge to meditate some clever Aikido catch.