Banijay hires Twitter’s former French chief to lead digital expansion

Damien Viel

Banijay has appointed the former MD of Twitter in France to a newly created role tasked with overseeing its digital expansion.

Damien Viel becomes chief digital & marketing officer for the French production and distribution firm, taking charge of the group’s “digital diversification strategies” and tasked with pushing innovation globally.

He reports into Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti and will explore monetisation opportunities across the company’s brands.

Viel joins following a seven-year stint as MD for Twitter in France, a role he departed late last year. Prior to that he spent four years at Google, working across YouTube and the search giant’s Google Brand operations for Southern/Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa.

He also was deputy GM for M6 Publicité, the advertising arm of French broadcaster M6 Groupe.

‘Flux & digital diversification’

Bassetti said the appointment would help Banijay to “capitalise on innovation avenues” during what he described as “an undeniable period of flux and with further digital diversification on the horizon…”

The Banijay chief added: “In embarking on what will no doubt be a transformative journey, we are committed to bolstering the creative environment we offer our talent to ensure creativity always prospers.”

Viel said: “Digital innovation has rapidly changed how audiences consume content, and importantly, how leading storymakers share it.

“While tech advancements are often met with scepticism given their complexity, I’m a firm believer that innovation, creative technologies, AI and a customer-focussed approach, only bring further opportunity and that is what I am keen to explore at Banijay.

“In its hands is a prolific portfolio of brands and the talent that creates them, a combination which will be invaluable to evolving a robust marketing strategy and exploring further opportunities to diversify and positively boost the operation.”

Banijay has been expanding into new areas over the past year, hiring a former Publicis Groupe exec in February to oversee its M&A activity beyond production acquisitions and exploring ‘metaverse’ content.

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