Fred & Farid Open Marcel in Paris

NEW YORK Former Goodby, Silverstein & Partners creatives Frederic Raillard and Farid Mokart have opened their own agency called Marcel in Paris, effective immediately.

The Publicis-owned venture, which opened yesterday with 10-12 clients shifted from the holding company’s other agencies, is intended to compete with smaller, integrated and creatively focused shops such as Mother in London and New York, 180 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and even Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami. French natives Raillard, 34, and Mokart, 38, who go by Fred & Farid and share art directing and copywriting duties, will be co-presidents and report to Publicis CEO Maurice Levy.

The agency is “based on the fact that advertising now has to change, we have to write strong stories featuring the brand, then choose the best media,” said Raillard, speaking for both himself and Mokart. “So we believe we’re not competing against other campaigns, but all other stories in media. Our role in the agency is to write the strongest story. It’s simple to say but hard to do.”

After leaving Goodby in San Francisco earlier this year, where they worked on accounts such as Netflix and Pony, Fred & Farid entertained offers from agencies in New York, London, Amsterdam and Paris before deciding to take Levy’s offer, according to Raillard.

“This is the first time Publicis will have creatives as presidents,” Most [shops] are run by account people,” Raillard pointed out.

Marcel starts with brands from Publicis clients Nestle ice creams, Allied Domecq, Heineken France and Krups Worldwide, among others. The co-presidents plan to employ 20-30, some of whom will be shifted from Publicis shops while others will be international hires, since the duo plans to make Marcel a global force.

“At the beginning, of course, it’s going to be French, but there’s no point in having only a French agency,” Raillard said. “We want to hire international people from all over the world.”

Fred & Farid met as creatives at Euro RSCG in Paris. After working at TBWA, BDDP, Publicis and Leo Burnett, they moved to CLM/BBDO in Paris, where they became creative directors, heading accounts like Pepsi, Brandt and Dior.

They joined Bartle Bogle Hegarty in London in 2001, and the next year won a gold Lion for “Champagne” and a bronze for “Mosquito” print ads for Xbox. Jeff Goodby then hired them to come to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in 2002.