If a man’s work indicates how he lived, then Fabrice Dubois embraced wit and light. For more than 12 years he worked as a senior copywriter at Publicis, a French multinational advertising and PR firm, crafting off-kilter and breezy campaigns for major corporations and non-government organizations. “Everybody appreciated his kindness and his talent,” says a colleague who asked to remain anonymous to keep the focus on Dubois. “He loved a lot of things: He was a tennis player, he loved cinema and music, and he played the guitar.” That love of music took him and a group of friends to Le Bataclan on Nov. 13. “His musical tastes were very grunge,” his sister Nathalie told Paris Match, describing the 6-foot-7 Dubois as “extremely gentle and shy.” When terrorists stormed the theater, he was standing in the mosh pit.
On Nov. 16, Publicis employees returned to a firm reeling from the loss — not just of Dubois, but also 37-year-old Yannick Minvielle, a creative director in the firm’s communications arm, who also sang in a rock band. Three others remain hospitalized with gun wounds to the stomach and legs. A fourth employee was put in an artificial coma, but since has been revived. Dubois’ colleague describes the first day back as heavy and filled with silence. “People were in a state of shock and grieving.”
Dubois, who was 46, is survived by his wife, Alexia, and their two children: Iris, 13, and Hector, 11. Colleagues have set up an online fundraising campaign to support his family. “People in advertising spend a lot of time at the agency,” says Dubois’ co-worker. “They become our real friends. It’s like a family. A lot of people who worked with them are profoundly hurt.”
-William Lee Adams