World Media in 2005: France

Advertising in France is a minefield of regulations but there is talk of increasing the ad minutage on public service TV, free newspapers are booming and digital terrestrial TV is about to launch.

France famously exports fashion, food and wine. It now has the highest bridge in the world in the Millau Viaduct, which crosses the Tarn River and brings Barcelona closer to Paris. It will no doubt enhance Paris' position as the favourite to host the 2012 Olympic Games: the winner is announced in July.

Around the same time, France will have a referendum on the European Union Constitution. It comes at a pivotal time in French politics. President Jacques Chirac is now 73 and the younger Nicolas Sarkozy is keen to take his place. Within the Socialist Party, there is division over Europe which mirrors the divided attitude towards the EU in France.

Despite having a free press, advertising in France is a minefield of rules and regulations. It was only in 2004 that magazines and retailers were allowed to advertise on TV, and retailers can still not appear on terrestrial TV until 2007. The Loi Evin code is one of France's most stringent pieces of legislation. It prevents all alcohol brands - except certain wine marques - from being advertised on TV.

On the public service channel France Television, there are only eight minutes of advertising an hour, although discussions are underway to increase it to 12, equalling the minutage on the privately owned channels TF1 and M6.

The television landscape will change dramatically in 2005 when France receives digital terrestrial TV (La TNT) for the first time. It is hoped that La TNT will boost television adspend - at the moment, the press attracts the lion's share adspend.

Over the past few years, celebrity titles such as Paris Star have been in vogue, while free newspapers now sweep the country: Metro International now prints commuter papers in ten cities. France has also been inundated with launches (Sport, Mods) and redesigns (Glamour, Public).

France has a popular TV show about advertising and communication which attracts 1.6 million viewers. The bi-monthly Culture Pub on M6 has been broadcasting every other Sunday night for the past 17 years.

Agency-wise, Initiative and Carat, traditionally two of the strongest media agency brands in France, have attracted big European accounts from domestic clients such as Renault (Carat) and France Telecom (Initiative).

Paris is also home to the holding company Publicis Groupe.


USdollars million at current prices. All years based on US$1=

euro 0.89 *Estimated

News- Mag-

Total papers azines TV Radio Cinema Outdoor Internet

1992 7,935 2,090 2,193 2,017 576 55 1,004 0

1993 7,511 1,980 1,869 2,017 628 45 971 0

1994 7,897 2,076 1,924 2,193 653 47 1,005 0

1995 8,216 2,134 1,979 2,383 654 52 1,015 0

1996 8,435 2,185 2,048 2,482 637 52 1,032 0

1997 8,753 1,327 3,050 2,613 613 53 1,091 6

1998 9,469 1,563 3,229 2,792 650 59 1,158 19

1999 10,447 1,836 3,459 3,029 727 77 1,229 89

2000 11,584 2,040 3,721 3,438 807 91 1,324 163

2001 10,988 1,869 3,660 3,235 739 82 1,274 130

2002 10,777 1,787 3,468 3,297 805 84 1,225 112

2003 10,769 1,688 3,468 3,395 840 73 1,192 112

2004 11,149 1,718 3,531 3,561 888 73 1,204 173

2005* 11,483 1,746 3,584 3,721 937 75 1,222 199

2006* 11,815 1,770 3,648 3,877 977 77 1,247 219

2007* 12,184 1,795 3,695 4,103 1,015 78 1,262 237


1) 15% agency commission included

2) Excludes production costs and taxes

3) Includes classified advertising

4) After discounts

5) Newspapers include national and regional titles, and free titles to


6) Magazines include free titles from 1997

7) TV includes cable and satellite from 1997



Newspaper: Ouest France (daily, 783,000)

Business magazine: Le Particulier (monthly, 377,000)

Consumer magazine: TV Magazine (weekly, 4,822,000)

Most-watched TV programme (2004): Switzerland vs France Euro 2004 (15.3

million viewers on TF1)

Best new TV format: Le pensionnat de Chavagne on M6 (reality TV show)


Circulation: Diffusion Controle/OJD

Readership: Ipsos Medias

TV viewing: Mediametrie, GfK


Newspapers: Figaro

Magazines: Hachette Filipacchi Associes, Prisma Presse

Television: France Televisions (public), TF1, RTL


Media topic du jour - How well will French digital terrestrial TV (La TNT) take off?

Reigning media guru and why - Maurice Levy, the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe. His legendary charm is unrivalled.

Media mogul to be seen dining with and why - Vincent Bollore, because people will think he's offering you the Havas seat.

Car to drive - A Peugeot 407 or a "concept car" such as the new Renault Fluence.

Top-selling beer brand - 1664, but most French people prefer wine.

Phone to carry - Sony Ericsson V800.

Whatever you do, don't say ... "Got any Australian Chardonnay?"

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