The popular Netflix show ‘Emily in Paris’ follows the life of Emily Cooper, a young marketing executive who moves from Chicago to Paris to bring the ‘American perspective’ to a public relations agency – whilst truly immersing herself into all the romance and glamour Paris has to offer.
But is agency life in Paris really all glitzy cruises and weekend trips to Saint Tropez?
We reached out to one of our French agency partners, Fabriq to find out what the show gets right and what it gets very wrong. And here’s what they told us:
“Late starts: While 11am starts seem to be most acceptable on the show, lateness at work is not well tolerated in France – especially in PR and marketing where press releases have to be sent off early in the morning. Also, coming to work late only means you will have to make up for it later!
“Language skills: Emily effortlessly lands big accounts and pulls off viral campaigns. In reality, it would be hard for someone who is so reluctant to learn French to move up the career ladder in France. You might get away with it for a while at most, but it will eventually hinder you from getting past a junior level, especially in a field like marketing where language skills and cultural awareness are essential.
“Aversion to new ideas/originality: Emily is nicknamed “la Plouc” by her colleagues for suggesting ideas that other team members find ridiculous. While we of course always give feedback, we would never shame people for bad/weak ideas! We try to foster a culture where people are encouraged to share ideas, good and bad, so we can develop them into better ideas.
“Working at the weekend: There is a scene where Emily needs information from her colleagues about a client, but they tell her off for calling them over the weekend – terming it as ‘illegal’. While working at the weekend is not encouraged, it is definitely not illegal. Sometimes there’s a need to work overtime or put in some hours at the weekend. We don’t like it to be a regular occurrence – but it is something just the nature of the game!
“Diversity/ethnic representation: The show has a box-ticking approach to ethnic and LGBTQ representation – Black, Gay, Asian and Latino. It is not at all representative of the diverse teams that we typically have in France. Black, Portuguese, North African, Eastern, Southern European: Paris is extremely diverse and the list goes on.”
So, if you’ve watched the show – don’t take it too seriously! It doesn’t involve working around the clock, pulling off endless viral campaigns at the touch of a button….or being labelled ‘la Plouc’!
And if you want to find out what working in PR in Paris is like, maybe it’s time to give it a try yourself?