By Duncan Mackay

December 21 - Havas Sports & Entertainment, the second largest advertising group in France, has won the marketing and communications contract to promote Annecy's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, it has been announced.

The appointment of Havas Media's global sports and entertainment communication network ends a 14-month pitch process in which it called upon the expertise of its group agencies Euro RSCG, Mégaphone Team, Altius Prod and Havas Media's MPG.

The decision was made by France's Annecy 2018 association, which was created in June 2009 to present the city's candidacy to host of the 2018 winter events.

The Havas network will now play a pivotal role in communicating and implementing the ideas behind France's Olympic bid as it battles against rival cities Munich, the German city which is bidding to become the first in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Games, and South Korea's Pyeongchang, who are bidding for the third consecutive time.

The Havas team will be led by Claire Jouet de Robiano.

Gilles Portelle, the general director of Havas Sports & Entertainment France, said: "We are particularly proud that the Annecy 2018 Committee has renewed their confidence in our team to take on this major international challenge that faces France over the impending months.

"We pledge all our available Olympic knowledge and resources and will mobilise the strength of our entire international network to the success of this major international sporting bid."

The company already has close links with the Olympics stretching back to 1992 and worked on Paris' unsuccessful bid to host the 2012 Olympics, where were awarded to London.

Havas also handled EDF Energy's sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

The company, which can trace its roots back to 1835 when it was set up as France's first news agency, consists of 400 professionals operating globally through 20 offices.

Included among its international portfolio of clients are Coca-Cola, adidas, McDonald's, Allianz and Mars.

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