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08/06/2022 Interview with Fabien Bourrely, KEDGE graduate and Executive Director of the Starcom agency

The Starcom agency now operates all over the world. As part of Publicis Groupe, its employees can learn quickly and take advantage of greater opportunities. Fabien Bourrely (Class of 2008), its Executive Director, tells us all about it.

Many thanks to Jérôme Bourgine, editor of the website for interviewing KEDGE Alumnus Fabien Bourrely (Class of 2008) and Executive Director at Starcom. You can find the full article here.

A few words about Publicis Media and Starcom? 

Publicis Media is the media division of Publicis Groupe. It’s a strategy and advertising space purchasing consultancy that supports brands in today's complex world of media and data. Publicis Media has several agencies, including Starcom, the second-largest French agency in terms of volume of publicity investments. The Starcom network is also present in some 100 countries around the world.

Who are your main clients and for what sectors do you work?

We work for all sectors: luxury goods, retail, mass consumption, etc.... from L'Oréal to La Poste via McDonald's and Samsung. But even though the sectors are different, most of today's brands face the same issues related to varied changes, including our uses and expectations. CSR and data issues, for example, have become crucial!

Digital is your speciality. How would you say that your fans will enjoy working for Starcom?

At first, I promised myself I would change jobs as soon as I got bored. I've changed agencies several times, but despite having worked in the digital industry for 13 years, I've never changed sectors! It’s simple. In ten years everything has changed. It's a constant intellectual challenge at the very heart of our lives, because everything, everywhere, is becoming digital. And obviously, the youngest ones love it.

When you started at Starcom, what were its attributes that made you say, "This is it. This is the place I'm staying!"?

When I first started working here in 2016, I immediately liked the challenges, the work environment. and the atmosphere. Having previously worked for smaller companies, I was afraid that I would lose my independence if I worked for a larger agency. Ironically, the opposite happened. I was just as independent as I had been, but had greater leeway and responsibility! Not only were these responsibilities in my field of expertise but also in the communication and management of my work. And so my career progression took place quite naturally.

Does being a division of the Publicis Group change things?

Of course. There are more positions, more brands, more contacts... . We learn faster and interact with other divisions. Additionally, we have a dedicated platform, Marcel, that connects our employees around the world. And as a large company, there are obviously more opportunities for advancement.

Even in the business media, people are starting to talk about the importance of happiness in the workplace. What about Starcom?

For a long time, life was generally easy in our sector. For the past two years, connections have become overstretched and we’ve had to invest a great deal of time and effort in bringing life to the company. This doesn't just mean through parties. It also means identifying our employees expectations ( in particular through satisfaction surveys) and adapting our company plan to meet them. For example, with telecommuting (of course) and, since this year, the Work Your World programme which allows teams the ability to work six weeks a year from abroad.

What was the most valuable thing you gained from your time at KEDGE BS?

Confidence in myself. My final entrance exam didn't go well and I barely got in. Ironically, overcoming this obstacle at the very beginning is what made me want to believe in myself. The school's philosophy of not limiting you but rather entrusting you lent itself perfectly to this aim. As a result, I formed a band, met a wonderful woman, and found a job as soon as I got out!

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