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Publicis Benelux’s secret weapon in the war for talent: a 'metaphone' in Decentraland


By Sam Bradley | Senior Reporter

January 25, 2023 | 4 min read

The ad agency group is ringing in the new year with an unusual bid to recruit metaverse specialists.

A screenshot from Decentraland, showing a large red telephone

They were looking for a job, and then they found a job / Publicis Benelux

Popular wisdom holds that an unanswered phone call is one of the noises least bearable to the human ear. But that hasn’t deterred Publicis Benelux from using the beckoning chimes of a rotary telephone to attract new recruits.

The agency group hopes the pull factor of an auditory mystery and a monolithic crimson phone will boost its chances in the talent market.

‘Metaphone’ is a red telephone in the style of the Cold War era Moscow-Washington hotline, but much larger. It’s situated in the virtual platform Decentraland, with the aim of attracting web3 pioneers to come and work in advertising.


According to Eva Devos, co-chief exec at Publicis Groupe Belgium, the telephone is a “bridge between worlds,” one that will provide her team with “a new way to approach creative talent that understands the metaverse and can help us build it.”

Users traversing Decentraland will find the Metaphone ringing out 24 hours a day, waiting for someone to pick it up.

For those that dare, a personalized message will invite them to leave their contact details and answer with their own audio message. If they’re suitable, Publicis will follow up.


Publicis Benelux currently has an average of 35-50 open positions, a spokesperson confirmed – positions that Eduardo Marques, chief creative officer, hopes the scarlet device will help fill.

“The talent that will shape the metaverse is already inside it,” he added.

Interested readers can use the phone to aid their job-hunting quest right now. Like Academy Award-nominee Colin Farrell in the 2002 thriller Phone Booth, a single call might lead to an entirely new life and career. And like Colin Farrell in 2008’s In Bruges, it’ll be based in Belgium.

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