France starts push to tout its business opportunities

NEW YORK: The image of France is one of chateaus, fine wine, culinary delicacies, and magnificent art. An aggressive new PR campaign is set to present the country as a place of cutting-edge business opportunities, as well.

NEW YORK: The image of France is one of chateaus, fine wine, culinary delicacies, and magnificent art. An aggressive new PR campaign is set to present the country as a place of cutting-edge business opportunities, as well.

As part of the campaign, Invest in France, the foreign-investment arm of the French government, has created a new position, VP of marketing and communications, and appointed New York-based Keith Yazmir to fill it.

It is also continuing to work with Ogilvy, which has done project work since early this year and has now become its AOR.

PR efforts will focus on the US, China, Japan, and Germany.

"We're creating the campaign from scratch," Yazmir said. "At root, it's a b-to-b campaign."

For instance, the campaign has enlisted the help of an advisory committee of US business leaders to share its experiences with other decision makers.

Yazmir noted that the French prime minister - who, with the French ambassador to the US, is overseeing the campaign - has been meeting with business leaders and has supported new business-friendly laws to spur investment.

The campaign, which includes PR and advertising, is designed to address polls showing that Americans associate France with strikes rather than worker productivity - even though the country ranks in the top five in incoming foreign investments.

Yazmir joins from NYC & Co. - the Big Apple's marketing arm - where he was VP of communications.

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