French police raid Havas offices over CES Las Vegas inquiry

The lobby of Havas' Paris office
The lobby of Havas' Paris office

The headquarters of the Havas advertising group was raided on Tuesday by the French anti-corruption police over an inquiry into a visit by president Emmanuel Macron to CES Las Vegas.

The investigation is into a charge of favouritism, complicity and profiting from favouritism, reported RFI.

The inquiry was opened in mid-March after the Canard Enchaîné weekly ran an exposé accusing Business France of awarding the contract to Havas without a bid. 

AdAge and French newspapers have since reported that the contract awarded was to organise a party promoting French tech startups during CES Las Vegas last year. 

Canard Enchaîné also reported that the visit by Macron, who was at the time economy minister, cost €381,759 (£335,000), of which €100,000 was for hotel bills.

Business France's offices were raided at the same time as Havas' premises. The company said in a statement several months ago that it faced a tight deadline for the party and had hired Havas because it was familiar with the agency, AdAge reported.

Campaign has contacted Havas for comment. 

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