Disappearance: the advertising Marie-Catherine Dupuy is no longer

Disappearance: the advertising Marie-Catherine Dupuy is no longer
Disappearance: the advertising Marie-Catherine Dupuy is no longer

She was the second “D” of the BDDP agency. And a great lady of advertising, she whom the magazine “Strategies” had elected “Man of the Year” in 1991. Marie-Catherine Dupuy died Monday, carried away by cancer. She was 72 years old. And advertising for vocation.

One of the rare women in the advertising world, the one nicknamed “Marie-Cath” left her mark on the sector. “She was an avant-garde woman, testifies Jean-Marie Dru, the other “D” of BDDP, with whom she had two sons. She had a high idea of ​​our profession. In his eyes, advertising should be intelligent, beautiful and sensitive at the same time. »

Daughter and granddaughter of advertisers

Probably because she was the daughter and granddaughter of prominent advertisers. From the 1970s, she became, with her baccalaureate, designer-editor in the Dupuy-Compton agency, founded in 1926 by her grandfather and directed by her father. She would also have been recruited against the advice of the latter who refused to make her a “daddy’s girl”, confides “Strategies”.

But this sunny, elegant, admired woman was above all the creative soul of the flamboyant agency BDDP, which became TBWA, which she co-founded with Jean-Claude Boulet, Jean-Marie Dru and Jean-Pierre Petit, in 1984.

A visionary, she had, from the first work meetings, felt that it was necessary “not to found a good agency, but to create a good company”.

Freshness and brilliance

Many times awarded, BDDP became the “most Anglo-Saxon of French agencies”. At the origin, in particular, of this film by Jean-Jacques Annaud for the rental company Hertz where vultures voraciously attack a car. Also creator of the SNCF slogan: “Progress is only worth it if it is shared by all”, or campaigns for Michelin, McDonald’s, Virgin, Rodier or Suez…

“It was the flagship agency of the time, remembers Rémi Babinet, president and founder of BETC, who took his first steps as an intern at BDDP. Marie-Cath was a very discreet woman, but it was she who made BDDP’s creative reputation. She brought dazzling, lightness and freshness to a profession that was sometimes heavy, analytical and rational”.

“And when we disagreed with her or found a weakness in a campaign that she liked, she would say ‘precisely, that’s what’s good’ with this zest of bad faith that makes great creative directors! adds Jean-Marie Dru.

bullfighting fan

Elegant, she swept away the excessively long demonstrations with a kick of her heel… “She wanted to make advertising pleasant, to make people like advertising, love advertising, tell each other about advertising…” continues Rémi Babinet .

In 1993, BDDP, which posted revenues of 1.8 billion francs worldwide, rose to the rank of number 3 in France behind Euro RSCG, a subsidiary of Havas, and Publicis. And when the agency merged with TBWA, following its acquisition by Omnicom in 1998, this mother of four sons, rider, fan of bullfighting, remained vice-president in charge of creation. She trained entire generations of advertisers.

President of the Clio Awards in Chicago

She was, among other things, the first woman to preside over the Clio Awards in Chicago. More recently, she became president of the Art Directors Club.

She was said to be “courageous”, “formidably independent” and “roughly exacting” to the point of raising creative people ever higher, whom she sometimes managed with an iron fist, but always defended ardently. “She brought people together around the artistic product, testifies Benjamin Marshall, co-creative director at TBWA. She surprised us every day as her openness to the world was so great”.

She loved her house in Fontvielle, in the south of France, loved dancing, smoking, partying, life…

The article is in French

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