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News August 12, 2016

UMG launches new label with French ad agency

UMG launches new label with French ad agency

France’s biggest advertising agency BETC Parisis launching a record label called POP Records, with backing from Vivendi’sUniversal Music.

In the latest step in Vincent Bolloré’s efforts to bring together Havas and Vivendi, POP Records will come under Polydor’s scope, with the ‘editorial line’ of the company and its artist sponsorship deals being handled by BETC.

The idea for POP Records, which will be run with Universal sub-label Polydor – home to the Rolling Stones, Madonna and Lana Del Rey – is to launch new artists, and work withBETC’s content and pop culture agency, BETC POP, to create content that works for both musicians and brands.

POP Records will be run by BETC POP’s three founders, Christophe Caurret, Isabelle Tardieu and Fabrice Brovelli (pictured). Caurret and Brovelli, who both joined BETC in the late 1990s, are both deeply involved in the Paris music scene, working on movie soundtracks, managing artists, and putting on club nights, in conjunction with their jobs at BETC. Tardieu began her career as a brand manager at Universal Music, and joined BETC in 2011.

In an exclusive with the Advertising Age, Tardieu said: “We are building something new and adding value to the agency. We are at festivals and concerts 200 days a year and we have a network of artists we talk to on a regular basis – all artists are looking for new opportunities.”

Tardieu told Ad Age POP Records is already talking to potential signings, but declined to give any names.

According to Bloomberg, the new label will began operations with five staff members, including Brovelli, who is also VP at BETC, and Caurret, the agency’s creative music director. This connection led to UMG and Havas announcing anofficial ‘data alliance’ in January. Bolloré is the largest single shareholder in both communications group Havas, and media group Vivendi. He is also the chairman of Vivendi, and his son Yannick Bolloré is chairman and CEO of Havas.

Dominique Delport, global managing director ofHavas MediaGroup and chairman of Havas Media in France and the UK, said, “We have launched the partnership [with Universal] on different fronts. We have theGlobal Music Data Alliance, and brand partnerships, and this is another layer, another way to collaborate and to explore new ways to bring content and brands together.”

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