“Serving a greater public purpose in times of crisis”
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This is a great moment for television. Some have rediscovered the small screen during lock down, to keep them company if alone or as a family, including the younger generations who had been turning their back on it. Over 50 million viewers are watching programs broadcast by France Télévisions each week, programs we have nimbly reworked since the beginning of the crisis to fulfil public service missions that have never seemed so necessary. Our television channels are playing a pivotal role in shaping society, informing, entertaining, educating and cultivating people from all walks of life.  

We have a treasure in our hands. A treasure for social cohesion, for as long as our ordeal continues, and a treasure for our economy, since our unprecedented ratings hold enormous value for all our country’s economic sectors, which are leveraging them to create the conditions for their recovery.

At France Télévisions Publicité, we believe it is our public purpose during these difficult times to contribute to recovery, help sectors in difficulty and better understand the world after Covid.

The crisis will end with the resumption of consumption. Until then, publicity is above all an instrument of recovery in itself! Advertising is an investment in our future economy, which we collectively need. It will build the confidence required to revive business. It will rekindle interest after a period that saw a decrease in national consumption greater than that in individual incomes. To maybe consume differently, better no doubt, but most importantly by choosing to act now rather than fearing the future.

Our customers, who are facing severe budget restrictions, are right to recognize that investment in advertising is not an expense but a means of boosting their sales, since €1 invested in TV advertising generates €4.90 in sales for the company, and France Télévisions Publicité wants more than ever to support its customers, take risks at their side, be bold and act as a true “business partner”.

Our public purpose in times of crisis is to also pay close attention to those sectors in most difficulty. From the very beginning of the crisis, we believed it was our responsibility to set up inclusive communication and support systems, for example for the agriculture, automotive and travel/tourism industries. And we are now launching a major initiative to support the sectors most in need, with a range of solutions including slots devoted to small businesses, to companies pursuing responsible initiatives and promoting local employment, and to products made in France.

Our real mission is to help brands understand the world of tomorrow. If we listen closely to what consumers and citizens have to say, for example on ecology, frugality, local purchasing and tensions between desire and purchasing power, we can restore confidence and boost consumption. The world has changed; advertising will no doubt change too. And so we are launching a new marketing service,Akouo”, meaning “to listen” in Greek. This artificial-intelligence driven active listening service will help us establish links between conversational, brand and behavioral data and our program data, to offer a France Télévisions advertising solution allowing more effective communication with the public. Because who knows, maybe advertising can also inspire virtuous behavior… It is in our public interest to hope so.

Marianne Siproudhis

CEO of FranceTV Publicité


This column was published in the MIND MEDIA Newsletter on 2 June 2020.

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