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Snapchat Bows in France, Poaches Warner Bros. Exec Emmanuel Durand (Report)

PARIS — Snapchat, the hot social-media messaging app, is launching in France and has hired an industry veteran from Warner Bros., Emmanuel Durand, to preside over its French operations, according to a local report.

Snapchat already has an office in London. France, Snapchat’s second European market, represents a promising territory because of the fast-growing popularity of the app there. In March, for instance, Snapchat drew 8 million visits, among which 5.9 million were from users aged 15-34. Instagram, by comparison, got 9.7 million visits in March, according to Mediametrie.

French broadcasters and producers are increasingly eager to use Snapchat to market their scripted series to the so-called millennials.

“Snapchat is the best live tool out there. Producers are being encouraged to create Snapchat accounts for their scripted series from the starting point, chronicle the making-of and get cast members to react during or after the airing of the shows in order to engage audiences,” said Julien Aubert at Paris-based transmedia company Bigger Than Fiction, which produces original social-media content for TF1’s hit new show “Sam” and recently created Snapchat videos linked to “Slow Moscow,” a seven-hour dance program that aired on French pubcaster’s France 4.

With its Paris office, Snapchat will aim at expanding its advertiser base in France. The company rolled out its first ad campaign in Paris and its suburbs last month.

According to national newspaper Le Figaro, Snapchat’s Discover Channel is in the process of enlisting some of France’s major newspapers, including Le Monde.

Durand has had a well-regarded track record at Warner Bros., most recently as senior vice president of marketing, data and innovation. He enjoys wide-ranging ties with traditional media and digital industry players, as well as with the film community in France.

Known for being forward-thinking, Durand wrote the book, “La menace fantome, les industries culturelles face au numerique” (“The ghost threat, the cultural industries facing digital”) in 2014. The book examined the way the French media landscape has dealt with the digital revolution, disruptive innovations, their impact on piracy and the industry’s struggle to shake up old habits.

During his seven-year tenure at Warner Bros. Studios France, Durand also spearheaded the launch of My Warner Day, a fan-only event in the vein of ComicCon, at Paris’ Grand Rex theater, where 2,700 fans showed up. The idea behind the event was to promote Warner Bros.’ films “Pacific Rim” and “Man of Steel,” as well as the video game “Batman: Arkham Origins.”

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