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30/08/2007 - par Mark Tungate

If you asked me to name the next creative capital of Europe - the one that could take over from Amsterdam as the home of all things hip - I would say Berlin. The place has been haunting me recently. First of all, a French stranger at a party told me that he had recently visited the city, and it had knocked his socks off. Then a magazine in London asked me to write an article about it. ­Finally, last week, TBWA Berlin asked me to speak at its annual confe­rence, so I was able to see for myself.

The thing that Berlin has in common with Amsterdam is its cosmopolitanism. It is the most international city in Germany - and it may be more attractive to talented foreigners than London or Paris, both of which are hideously expensive. That's why Berlin has witnessed an influx of young artists. Today, a typical Berliner is more like Roberta Bantel, managing director of TBWA Berlin. She is a Brazilian who worked in Stockholm and then Amsterdam, before arriving in Berlin at the end of 2006. Other members of staff come from the UK, the US, France, Canada, the Netherlands and Turkey. Their working language is English. TBWA won the BMW account at the end of last year, creating a standalone agency called MAB in Berlin to avoid conflict with Nissan. Elsewhere, a small Berlin independent called Plantage handles the Mini and Sony accounts for Germany. More importantly, Berlin - like ­Paris- is a brand name. And people are always keen to be associated with a cult brand.

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