A graduate in philosophy and literature, Babinet began his career as a copywriter at the French agency BDDP. In 1994, he founded with Eric Tong Cuong the agency Babinet Tong Cuong, backed by the Havas group. In 1995, they were joined by Mercedes Erra and the agency was renamed BETC.
BETC has been named ‘European Agency of the Year’ (Ad Age, US), ‘Most Creative Agency in France’ 13 times in 17 years (CB News) and ‘Most Beautiful Agency’ (Wallpaper* magazine, UK). In 2010, the international Gunn Report ranked BETC the second most creative agency in the world, and the TV campaign ‘The Closet’ for client Canal+ was ranked the most awarded film in the world for that same year. In 2012, BETC was named ‘Agency of the Year’ by the New York Art Directors’ Club.
Beyond its core advertising activity, BETC is composed of dedicated departments with expertise in luxury, design, music, content, retail and publishing. More than 60% of agency revenue comes from international business. Historical clients include Evian, Air France, Peugeot, Canal +, Petit Bateau, Pernod Ricard, l’Oreal, Ibis and Lacoste as well as non-French clients such as McDonalds, Disney, Kraft, NBC Universal Networks. Under Rémi Babinet’s creative supervision, BETC’s global campaign for Evian, ‘Rollerbabies’, entered the Guiness World Records as the most viewed on-line ad of all time. At last count, views were at 230 million.
Rémi Babinet believes that advertising should engage with the world around it, creating new ways with which to interact with society and consumers. In 2000, Rémi Babinet orchestrated the agency’s move to inner city Paris, transforming the ruins of a former 19th century department store into the graceful, contemporary offices that house the agency today. In 2001, Babinet and the agency’s production department launched the ‘PANIK’ parties in Paris, showcasing artists from the alternative rock and electronic music scenes. In 2003, Babinet inaugurated the Passage du Désir, a 800 m2 space on the agency ground floor dedicated to fashion, design, art and photography.
Today, Rémi Babinet is launching the international development of BETC, beginning with the opening in June 2011 of BETC London. Other launches are planned in Brazil, Asia and the USA. He is also working on a new architectural project for the Paris agency, planned for 2015: an ambitious urban renewal conducted in partnership with the city of Pantin, on the outskirts of Paris, which will regroup the agency’s 700-strong staff and current five Parisian locations into one site.
Rémi Babinet is Head Lecturer at the Institut des Sciences Politiques in Paris. From 2003 to 2007 he was President of the French Art Directors Club and in 2008 he was Guest Editor of the Gunn Report. In 2008 he designed and wrote the book ‘BETC Paris’, published and distributed worldwide by BIS Publisher. In 2009, Babinet presided over the film jury of the D&AD awards and was jury member of the Integrated category of the Cannes Lions festival. In 2010 he was voted onto the Andys jury and in 2011 year he was President of the Film, Press, Outdoor, Radio and the Integrated jury at the Spikes Asia awards.
Chairman and Global Creative Director, BETC - Global Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide