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The Post-it Wars

What began as a skirmish among Paris offices has blown up into a global conflict. The weapon: sticky-note mosaics

The first shot in the Post-it Wars made no sound, but was heard ’round the world all the same. On a sunny day last May, Thibault Lhuillier, Emilie Cozette, and a few colleagues at the big French game designer Ubisoft were in the kind of dreamy spring mood that Paris is known to induce. They started goofing around with Post-it notes. In the space of about 15 minutes, they managed to stick a pretty good likeness of a character from the Space Invaders video game (a nod to a notorious street art mosaicist) to a window of their headquarters in Montreuil, a suburb east of Paris. “All anyone was talking about was the American debt, then it was Greek debt, then it was Italian debt,” says Lhuillier. “We had to do something to change the mood and get out of the grayness.”

A few days later, Lhuillier noticed that Ubisoft’s Montreuil neighbor, the bank BNP Paribas, had one-upped Ubisoft with a more elaborate Post-it Pac-Man on its own windows. “I would never have imagined that one of the biggest banks in France would be putting a video game character on its windows,” Lhuillier says. “It was extraordinary.”