The group FRED & FARID has chosen China for its first international expansion. The holding company "FRED & FARID China" is already operating in Hong Kong. However, the group will begin officially its Chinese activity in September in Shanghai, in 1000 m2 on the Bund. The first premises, currently under construction is planned to accommodate up to 200 people, and will be inaugurated before the summer.
The reasons for this interest in China: "We fell in love with China. This country is full of positive energy, vitality and has an eager spirit. It is a great joy to be able to link our professional destiny to the country’s history. We have an internationally oriented activity: 70% of our brands are active outside of France. Year 2012 is a slowdown for Europe. We wanted to maintain our competitiveness, our growth, but also and especially our enthusiasm. Creativity must remain the fuel of our company." (Fred & Farid)
Aside from being a business project, the group clarifies that this is a cultural and artistic project between France and China, two countries that have much more in common than one can imagine. The group wants to create a bridge between these two complementary cultures. "This project should serve as well as the interests of European brands which are settling in China, the interests of Chinese brands coming to Europe. This dialogue, the balance, and mutual respect are key and are the basis of our project." (Fred & Farid)
To begin this adventure, Feng Huang, currently Creative Director at Fred & Farid Paris, will ensure the direction of this new agency. Feng Huang, having worked for 10 years with Fred & Farid, is the only Chinese person from Shanghai to have reached a position of Creative Director in a Western agency. He will pilot the agency in Shanghai with Grégoire Chalopin, who was part of the adventure from the start of Marcel and Fred & Farid Paris, before joining TBWA Shanghai as Creative Director. "Feng and Grégoire have our complete trust and have fully integrated our core values: creativity and passion. They embody the new management model we aspire to: this openness to other cultures, a particularly high standard of our business, an understanding of brands, combined with the creativity, which the group nurtures. "(Fred & Farid)
Feng Huang and Grégoire Chalopin, already operable, explain that the Shanghai agency will start "with about twenty employees and has already begun consulting clients of FRED & FARID Group based in China. The group recruits locally mainly Chinese talents, but also Australians, Americans and Europeans. "
The agency will focus on the following activities: Digital, social networks, events and advertising.
The ‘22 Victoire’ agency in Paris and the Shanghai branch will be connected 24/7/365 with 24 screens that will provide connections between the two entities.
Fred & Farid will encourage exchanges between the Parisian and the Shanghai branch, with the goal to create a single entity, working as a team. Both agencies will have access to all creative briefs, on a number of projects there will be a joint creative task force between Shanghai and Paris.
The Shanghai agency (located in a former opium warehouse from the early 20th century) is currently under construction. It will be officially opened next May; the two creative directors are in place and have already started their job.
FRED & FARID Group now has 200 employees, five agencies (Fred & Farid Paris, Kids Love Jetlag, Furious Monkeys, Eddi&Son and Hello Sunshine), an online medium: BCKSTG (150 000 VU per month) and a turnover of 44 million euros.