Vincent Bollore, the French industrialist and chairman of Havas Group, has been assigned to Havas City, Paris, to advertising and communications for Blue Car electric car, the famous electric car project that will be available by the end fof the year through Parisian car-sharing system called Autolib.
As an agency, Havas City was chosen to avoid conflict with another client of the Havas Group, Peugeot, which manufactures its own electric cars, the Ion and BB1. (BETC Euro RSCG in Paris handles the bulk of the bill, despite the fact that Euro RSCG Dusseldorf, Germany, has also worked with the brand iOn). But avoiding a conflict could be the easy part for the agency, which now faces the task of communicating to the Parisians the relatively new concept of sharing an electric car.
Although the city has a bike sharing system in place, this development may require explanation. Under Autolib, which represents an investment of 150 million dollars for Bollore-subscribers pay $17 per month, plus another 7 per half hour of using the electric car and a refundable deposit of $212.
Hundreds of electric cars will be available in areas spatially designed for operation in the French capital in a bid to curb traffic congestion and pollution in the city. But, unlike bicycles, which are handled by human power, the process of renting and recharging Blue Cars require intense communication from Havas City. The benefit of Bollore, of course, is that Paris could serve as an ideal testing ground to eliminate failures before a large-scale release of Blue Car.
Havas City was originally mounted as a shop to avoid conflicts when Havas Group work simultaneously with the business of two rival French supermarket, Carrefour and Monoprix. It was founded in early 2009 to manage Monoprix, but soon the Havas Group lost its stake in the business of 1,000 million dollars of Carrefour, who spent the Publicis Groupe. Havas City still working with Monoprix, and his other main client is the operator of high-speed Thalys train.
Bollore has been working on its electric car project for over 15 years, and has factories in western France and Canada in which built electric cars and lithium ion batteries. The employer purchased a control stake in Havas Group six years ago and quickly became the largest holder of shares in rival British group Aegis. PETC Euro RSCG also handles advertising Peugeot Mu, The order for the brand and hire scheme, which is operating in several cities in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Britain.