Meet Jean-Luc Chetrit, Director General of Union des marques
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I was born in… the Mediterranean city of Narbonne, raised in multicultural Paris and have lived in Latin America and Asia for many years. I see myself as a citizen of the world.
My studies… and their importance were highly regarded and encouraged by my parents who had been forced to leave school early. When I was a class representative, I realised that my passion was for people-oriented matters rather than science and math. At university, it became obvious that Management School would be a perfect fit for me and that marketing and sales would be the area where all my passions can be put into practice.
When I started in the advertising/marketing industry… creativity was a priority. My first marketing job was at Nescafé where we focused on how to create an emotional bond with people and rejuvenate the brand. Nescafé developed the “Open Up” campaign which changed the way the brand was being communicated and perceived, moving away from the functional territory of the product and embrace the emotional territory of the brand which is, in this instance, coffee and its ability to create emotional connections among people.
Today we spend so much time talking about how to reach an audience at the right time and in the right context and not enough about how we can create emotional connections between brands and people through advertising.
My proudest career achievement is… after many years as a brand builder at Nestlé and P&G, in 2012 I decided to join the agency world by taking on the CEO position at Carat France. I joined at a time when the agency had been losing many clients and confidence and employee engagement was very low. By putting our people and clients at the centre of what we did we were able to return to sustainable growth and make a comeback in the RECMA ranking as one of the top three agencies in France.
Our recipe for success was relying on one key management principle: you can only improve what you can measure. We started to measure our client satisfaction and employee engagement on a quarterly basis and took the necessary corrective actions to improve them simultaneously.
Our main priority is…to help rebuild trust in our industry. Trust in brands is at a record low, with only 27% of French people stating that they trust big brands compared to 58% 10 years ago. The relationship between advertisers and platforms, intermediaries and agencies is greatly challenged by a variety of transparency issues in the digital era.
In that context, Union des marques’ mission to defend the freedom of communication while promoting responsible marketing with the view to help our members deliver more effective and efficient marketing communications has never been so important. We have decided that Union des marques should play an active role in rebuilding the conditions of trust in our industry.
We launched a programme called “Audace 2020” (audace means “boldness” in English) with eight different initiatives on key areas that influence trust, including:
- Transparency: The development of digital advertising and programmatic buying in particular has created a very complex ecosystem for advertisers who cannot systematically know where their ads have been displayed and how much of their ad investment goes to the multiple intermediaries of the supply chain. On average, only 40% of spend goes to publishers, according to WFA research. To develop a more reliable environment, we launched an operational playbook in April together with the French media industry association (UDECAM) and Ebiquity. This is the first guide of its kind that helps ensure greater transparency in the programmatic value chain and create trust between advertisers and their media agencies.
- Efficacy: Marketers are facing a mounting complexity to allocate their advertising spend properly. Indeed, the number of KPIs created to measure new digital solutions is expanding almost every day, but with most of them being assessed by the same company that deliver the solutions. By mobilising the whole advertising ecosystem, and with the support of BearingPoint, we are creating the first referential platform for efficacy which will allow Union des marques members to have in one place ad standards, research and best practice guides to help them build more effective and efficient planning.
- Responsibility : 10 years ago we launched a responsible marketing charter which was focused at that time on environmental matters. Nowadays questions about diversity, brand safety, social vs. brand expectations are consistently being raised. We launched in January “FAIRe”, a comprehensive responsible marketing programme that already more than 30 big advertisers have signed. FAIRe consists of 15 commitments to be delivered by 2020 on key topics from unstereotyping advertising to subtitling marketing campaigns for people with hearing disabilities.
A very specific challenge in the marketing industry in my country is… access to the right data in order to build consumer knowledge. Staying relevant with the right message, at the right time and in the right context is becoming extremely difficult and expensive with the new challenge created by global platforms which centralise massive amounts of data in walled gardens. Union des marques is piloting an initiative under the name of “QOP” (Quality open platform), which for the first time will bring together advertisers to share their cookie data with one another and take back control of consumer knowledge.
If I could change one thing about the industry today, it would be… the lack of focus on ideas and creativity. Adblocking continues to grow rapidly with 40% of French people using ad blockers and their perception of online advertising at a record low. We as an industry have to focus not only on how we advertise but how renewed creativity can rebuild the conditions of trust (and love) between people and brands.
What most people don’t know about me is… I have always considered that my contribution to my community is as important as my professional activities. I actively participate in various organisations that promote social diversity, peace and cultural understanding between peoples.
Three things about my country… French food, French art of living and French creativity make France an amazing and unique place to live in!
Want to know more about Jean-Luc and Union des marques? Get in touch with him here.
This is part of a series of monthly interviews with heads of national advertiser associations in WFA membership.