The French advertising scene is experiencing the first chill of global cooling in adspend. The familiar scenario is under way: agencies are starting to trim staff; clients are cancelling reviews and campaigns; new media launches are being put on ice.

Typifying the current entrenchment, one of Europe’s largest insurers, Assurances Generales de France, on Thursday shelved imminent plans for an agency review of its $10 million corporate branding account.

The decision followed the postponement of a $5m branding campaign by French aluminum giant Pechiney, while Havas Advertising is any day expected to announce massive staff cuts in line with its restructuring plan unveiled earlier this month [WAMN: 03-Oct-01].

Nor is the media sector immune, with industry bodies recently admitting to a slump in ad revenues at all major TV and press outlets.

The resultant domino effect has seen a number of media launches scrapped in recent weeks, not least that of Gourmet TV, a new cable TV cooking channel with several prominent media backers. Another casualty is an unnamed décor/lifestyle glossy magazine from Britain's Emap fronted by national icon, the actress Catherine Deneuve.

News source: AdAge Global