The Ad Store is Testing Waters for Worldwide Outposts
NEW YORK-The Ad Store Paris, which opened earlier this month as part of a licensing agreement, could be the first in a series of international outposts for the agency.
Paul Cappelli, owner and president of the New York-based The Ad Store, which also has offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles, said he met with ad executives from Russia and Italy last week about similar agreements. The agency is also considering expansion in Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Mexico, he added.
The Ad Store Paris, which opened unofficially several weeks ago, has gained two Paris-based accounts, FM radio station RTL2 and fashion retailer Marcelle Grisson, a 200-store chain.
The new shop was one of the early contenders for Apple Computer Europe's ad business, but did not make the cut in the review. "I would like to check back with them in a year or two," an Apple Computer Europe official said.
Shop president Laurent Forlani, most recently an international creative director at BBDO's Paris and New York offices, modeled his operation on Cappelli's U.S. agency: a low-overhead agency that welcomes project work and promises its clients a quick turnaround.
The licensing agreement between the two parties calls for The Ad Store Paris to pay The Ad Store Inc. a portion of its net earnings.
The Paris shop will be open 24 hours a day, Forlani said. "I would rather work all hours of the day and night here than sit in a big building and wait months for [creative work] to endure consumer testing, etc." So far, the Parisian shop has four staffers, but its president hopes to add three to six others shortly. "We will have here no more than 10," Forlani said.
All the Ad Stores will work together in pitches and on assignments as needed.
The Parisian shop's investors include Forlani and Paris-based businessman Gƒrard Boyer. Together, they own 51 percent of the shop. The remainder of equity is shared by Parisian agency FKGB, which specializes in entertainment and leisure advertising. FKGB handles such accounts as the Sony Playstation in Europe, and Partizan Midi/Minuit, a commercial production company with operations in both London and Los Angeles, Forlani said.
Forlani's prior agency experience includes working for BBDO, since 1991, on such agency accounts as Apple Computer, Volvo and Pepsi Max, the beverage giant's diet soft drink line in Europe.
He began his career 20 years ago as a creative director at Publicis, Paris. Ten years later, he left to join Bozell, Paris, as general manager in charge of the creative staff.