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Maurice Lévy's office now on Airbnb

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MUMBAI: Maurice Lévy, the eccentric creative genius and Publicis Groupe’s chief executive officer is at it again! Going viral with his traditional ‘end-of-year’ address to everyone at the media agency, and the advertising community at large. Except, this will be his last such address. Maurice Lévy is set to retire by May 2017.

Anyone familiar with Lévy’s festive videos in the past eight years knows that they are anything but a dull monologue on business and growth. Just last year, Lévy surprised everyone by donning a wig and posing for shampoo ad!

But, before anyone could get their hopes up for something similar, Lévy starts the 2016 video in his heavy French accent, by quickly putting the overzealous viewers at bay with "No wigs, no tricks this year."

Lévy plans to sign off in ‘good old fashion style."

Touching up on the good and bads of 2016, Lévy admits that the agency’s numbers were seriously impacted by account losses. A reference to the US media accounts of Procter and Gamble and Walmart.

"Never take your eye off the board," was the tough lesson the agency learned.

On the pros side of 2016, Lévy mentions winning Asda's UK creative and media business, HP Enterprise's global account and Coty. Referring to the major structural re-haul that the group undertook in 2016, Lévy adds that implementing ‘Power Of One’ may have been challenging for those who took on new roles, but it is working for the agency. "No Silo, No Solo, No bojo," he reiterates.

As Lévy goes on share a few tips on client retention, viewers are immediately made aware of some overzealous movers and packers clearing out his cabin. However, he was able to point to winning GSK, Asda's UK creative and media business, as well as HP Enterprise's global account and Coty.

Investing in 90 different start-ups to mark its 90th anniversary was the most adventurous thing, Lévy admits in the video. Lévy’s delivery of these hard-hitting facts with a poker face, as one of the removal man tries hard to take off his signature ‘I am the boss’ coffee mug off the table in vain is a comic masterpiece. One can’t miss the fact that only Lévy is able to lift the mug with ease. Is that a hint?

As a truckload worth of ‘chocolate jars’ is retrieved from his locker, Lévy makes a few forward-looking statements. "Now, we must more than ever act as one, think as one and work for our clients as one in order to win and succeed. The group needs you, clients need you and, as always, I’m counting on you. So what’s next? "

Being optimistic about the group’s future he adds, "We have built an incredibly strong foundation both, in culture and expertise, that runs deep through the foundation of the group. The founder of Publicis Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, whom I admire enormously, once said: ‘The trick to realising your dreams is to remain a child your whole life.’

"I have applied this to my Publicis dreams and that is my wish for you this year. May 2017 bring you and your families happiness, health and plenty of dreams. Plenty!" he says before walking off the empty room.

The video concludes with his empty room being rented off on Airbnb. For real! Click on the ‘Book Now’ button and you’d be taken to Airbnb’s promotions page where they are away a day in the office of Maurice Lévy as part of the Airbnb Night At program.

The prize is packaged as an Airbnb ad for two guests to stay at an apartment in Paris. Now isn’t that a fine parting gift to an esteemed client?

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