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Gauthier Delaire-Schirmeyer
Gauthier Delaire-Schirmeyer

TV advertising manager at M6

From Le Havre to Paris

I'm a real Le Havre man, and I joined the School on the Le Havre campus. Since then, I've moved several times. I realise now that it was necessary to see something different and meet other people.

By moving to Paris, I've learnt to manage my life differently in a fast-moving city.

One day, one of my very good friends from the School saw a job offer for a work-linked training course with the title "assistant TV advertising manager at M6". At first, I thought that work experience wasn't for me.

I ended up applying and was accepted, and I think I owe the job I do today to him.

And I never left the company. I think it was a kind of twist of fate. My friend thought of me at the time, which goes to show that School is not just a place for learning, it's also a place for sharing.

Taking on responsibility quickly

There were four work-study students at M6 at the same time as me and I was lucky enough to come across a manager who needed a salesperson. I was given a real portfolio of clients quite quickly, unlike my other work experience buddies.

I immediately had to manage a small advertising agency, with sales negotiations and meetings with my advertisers.

I immediately went out into the field to meet professionals. I didn't feel at all like a junior doing tasks that weren't very rewarding. After a month, I had to fly to Toulouse to meet a company like Brico Privé.

A little later in the year, I was offered the chance to make appointments in English with Trip Advisor, which was travelling from the United States.

I very quickly felt that I belonged and that I was regarded as a real salesperson.

Converting your work-study programme into an employment contract

From May onwards, you start to work on your dissertation and plan the next stage of your career. I asked my manager if she could take me on as I was really enjoying my job. She told me that it was going to be complicated because no vacancies had arisen. This was difficult news for me, because I had completely imagined myself in this company.

And then, in the end, I was lucky that there was an unexpected departure. They couldn't offer me a permanent contract straight away. So I was offered a slightly hybrid fixed-term contract for two positions until I could be offered a real job.

After 5 months between two jobs, which was a bit of an unusual experience because I had two managers, I was finally taken on.

So I took over the same sales position I'd held during my work-study period.

That transition period was quite hectic, but it taught me one thing: we sometimes think things are taken for granted when they're not necessarily.

On the other hand, when you think you can't get a job, things can turn around, as was the case for me.

It wasn't just a matter of luck. I think I was also doing a good job and my results were good.

The reality of the advertising business

When I was still a student, I used to think that in the advertising world you hung out with presenters and people close to the airwaves, but that's not the case at all. In reality, we're there to fill advertising space. It's like mathematics, we calculate advertising space.

My day-to-day job is to know my schedule and my programmes by heart.

Sometimes you have to be able to defend programmes that you don't like yourself but that other people love. Shows like Les Marseillais are a big hit! When you look behind the scenes, you realise that some presenters who seem super nice aren't really. Others are particularly nice in real life.

As well as TV, I'm also involved in radio. When I run the morning shows, I also see the political guests and that's extremely rich.

I've been lucky enough to see all the presidential candidates and to be able to talk to them off the air.

That's what my job allows me to do, to see all the other sides of the story and to meet unusual people.

The social responsibility of advertising

When you enter the world of advertising, the people around you consider that you are responsible for the adverts that appear on TV. They say: Ah, the Vinted advert, was that you?

In fact, all the ads that are broadcast all day long are chosen by me and my teams. But if these ads are there, it's because there's an interest. People think that advertising is very consumerist. It's sometimes demonised.

But advertising and television as a whole can be seen as a vector of influence.

Coca-Cola isn't good for your health, but on the other hand it creates jobs and wealth. Advertising also helps to get certain messages across. At both M6 and TF1, we donate part of the money to offset our carbon footprint. Some of our adverts are 'carbon free'.

TV does create consumption, but it can also be good consumption. It is possible, within a control room, to work on the way we get our messages across.

We can also make choices. For some companies, we can decide not to take them on or to be less accommodating. Others, on the other hand, we feel are essential. We're very happy to have Greenweez on TV, for example.

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