Brunswick has been hired to help French bank Banque Nationale de
Paris (BNP) in its fight to take over rival banks Paribas and Societe
If it succeeds, the three-way merger would create France’s largest
The agency’s PR work in the UK and key European markets will include
defending BNP against a legal challenge to the takeover, launched by
Paribas and Societe Generale last weekend. The two banks announced a
friendly merger earlier this year which is threatened by BNP’s move.
Brunswick partner Lucas Van Praag will head the account, reporting both
to BNP chief executive Michel Pebereau and communications director
Brunswick will work alongside Hill and Knowlton, which was appointed on
a retainer to raise BNP’s profile in the international and UK media last
November, before the bid for Paribas and Societe Generale was
H&K’s account leader is Elizabeth Ballard, a director in its corporate
and consumer financial service division.
The two agencies’ briefs have not been demarcated yet. They are expected
to act as an integrated team, although Brunswick is likely to be more
focused on investor relations.
On Paribas’ and Societe Generale’s side is Citigate Dewe Rogerson, which
has a long-standing project-based relationship with Paribas. Citigate
Dewe Rogerson was hired to act for the banks earlier this year.
Paribas and Societe Generale have rejected BNP’s bid and are defending
the benefits of their proposed merger to shareholders. In the latest
move, the two filed a motion with the Paris appeals court to challenge a
decision by French markets regulator the Conseil des Marches Financiers
to allow the bid to go through.