INTERNATIONAL: French comms body nets female head

PARIS: The trade body for the French communications sector -

L'Association des agences conseils en communication (AACC) - has named

Mercedes Erra as its president.



Erra, who is co-founder and president of BETC Euro RSCG, becomes the

first female head of the French industry's trade association.



She replaces Alain Cayzac, Havas Advertising vice-chairman, who has

headed the AACC for five years.



During his tenure, Cayzac has been credited with significantly expanding

the number and range of communications agencies represented by the

association.



The AACC's member firms range from corporate communications specialists

and generalist PR consultancies to online interactive communication

firms.



Erra said she plans to build on Cayzac's achievements, bringing in some

'new blood' to rejuvenate the association.



In terms of domestic concerns, Erra said her priority will be to look at

the current climate in the French communication and PR market, with a

particular view to boosting budgets that have been cut due to the global

economic slowdown.



'If the key communications groups in the sector get together around

certain ideas then that should create the momentum with which to bring

about change,' said Erra.



The AACC announced late last year it was launching a PR campaign with

external agency AnimaMedia and Young & Rubicam's press relations

department, which is headed by Caroline Saslawsky and Anne-Marie Gibert,

to help counter the downturn in the French communications industry

(PRWeek, 23 November 2001).



The initiative came at a crucial time for the French PR and advertising

sector, which has suffered reduced client budgets, redundancies and

structural changes.



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