Here’s the secret compound Snapchat is using to strike ad deals at Cannes

Evan Spiegel is secretive. Even in France.

This week is the Cannes Lions ad festival, which means everybody who is anybody in the ad world is spending the week drinking rosé and/or partying on a yacht in the south of France.

Most big ad players like Facebook and YouTube and Twitter host their sales meetings at massive beach-side cabanas. Or they rent out entire floors at one of the local, fancy hotels. Others lease yachts for the week, requiring visitors to take off their shoes before boarding.

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You can tell who settles where, because each company puts up signs. Everywhere.

Snapchat, on the other hand? Well, Snapchat and CEO Evan Spiegel are just as private and secretive in France as they are in California, apparently.

Here's a look at Snapchat's meeting space, which is blocked by high shrubs, multiple security guards and a big, black gate. I've asked several people if they've been inside, and most didn't even know it belonged to Snapchat.

Notice the ghost in the gate. Subtle touch!

The irony is, Snapchat is making up for its incognito meeting space with this: The biggest billboard in town. It's only about 100 yards away.

By Kurt Wagner,

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