Havas Media was traditionally the umbrella name for the media planning and buying units of marketing service group Havas. However, that previously separate network is being combined during 2017 with what was formerly the group's creative business under a single management team. The media team now operates under the banner Havas Group Media instead of Havas Media Group. Working alongside the main media network is secondary business Arena Media, as well as a digital media and CRM division and a collection of specialised sports and entertainment agencies. Havas Media was originally created in 2013 from the rebranding of what was then MPG. Operating mainly in Western Europe and the Americas, Havas Media was the world's #10 network in 2018 with billings of $7.4bn (according to COMvergence). As one of the smallest of the consolidated global media networks, Havas Media has spent several years looking for a partner which might help boost its international coverage. So far, however, all attempts to strike a transformational deal have been frustrated. During the mid-2000s, overtures by Havas to Aegis (then parent of the Carat and Vizeum networks) were repeatedly blocked by that company's shareholders. Yet despite these challenges, Havas Media's performance has steadily improved since 2005.
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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update. (See Adbrands Account Assignments for all account moves)
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Aug 2018: Havas Media's US office took a heavy blow with the loss of LVMH's local business to a newly created entity within Dentsu Aegis Network. With annual billings of around $400m on brands including Dior Parfums, Louis Vuitton, Hennessy and Bulgari, it has been one of Havas Media's top three or four local accounts. Havas Media continues to work for the luxury giant in other markets. There was some minor consolation for Havas with the capture of creative duties for pharmacy chain Rite-Aid, though billings there are considerably lower; and also consolidation of Telefonica O2's UK media business to include standalone brand Giff Gaff.
Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Dec 2017: Havas promoted Peter Mears, COO of its media operations to divisional CEO, replacing Alfonso Rodes, who moves up to chairman. Mears joined Havas earlier this year from Interpublic's Initiative to help run what is now billed as Havas Group Media, as opposed to the old Havas Media Group. Havas is the first of the major marketing groups to have re-bundled its creative and media operations under a single management team. "In just six months at Havas, Peter has implemented even higher operational standards, boosting collaboration and building the most agile teams in the media industry," said group CEO Yannick Bolloré. "Peter has a passion for winning, an absolute must for this next stage at Havas Group Media." Separately this week, Havas Media secured US media for confectionery company Perfetti van Melle, makers of Mentos and Airheads.
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Mar 2017: In another step towards an industrywide rebundling of marketing disciplines, Havas announced the elimination of separate silos for creative services and media. Following on from its reintegration of Havas Creative Group and Havas Media Group in four key markets, it will now roll out that process worldwide. All regional units will be integrated as individual profit centres under a single leader. Jorge Percovich, previously CEO of Havas Media Latin America, becomes CEO of Havas LATAM, with responsibility for both creative and media; Mike Amour, formerly CEO of Havas Creative in Asia Pacific, was named as CEO for Havas APAC. At the same time, current Havas Media worldwide CEO Dominique Delport moves to a new central role as group global managing director and chief client officer. North America and France have already been combined under the command of group CEO Yannick Bolloré. Spain is under Alfonso Rodes Vila, while Chris Hirst leads a shared P&L for the rest of Europe. Separately, Havas added to its French portfolio with the acquisition of Agence79, an independent media agency specialising mainly in digital. It also established a direct presence in New Zealand for the first time with the purchase of Auckland-based Mr Smith. That shop has relaunched as Havas NZ.
Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Oct 2016: Havas acquired UK-based marketing group TargetMCG, which claims to be the country's #1 entertainment marketing agency. The group handles media and promotions for mainly independent movie distributors and software developers, as well as advertising for theatres and major art exhibitions. Current chairman is former PHD founder Nick Horswell. Founder Robert Wilkerson is CEO, but TargetMCG's controlling shareholder is actually COO Louise Gaynor, who now controls more than 50% of its equity. The deal price was not disclosed but trade sources estimated an initial payment of around £10m. TargetMCG will retain its existing management and branding operating under the umbrella of Havas Media Group UK.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Jul 2016: Havas announced the launch of a third distinct global media network, FullSix Media, to partner Havas Media and Arena Media. The new resource, working alongside the recently acquired FullSix digital network, will absorb existing offices of Havas's Forward Media, created to manage media for Telefonica in Spain and Latin America. FullSix CEO Marco Tinelli will join the Havas Media executive committee.
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Free for all users | see full profile for current activities: Havas was one of the last leading advertising groups to establish a worldwide media brand. Previously, the Mediapolis brand had operated in Northern Europe since 1980, originally a partnership with Y&R. In 1998 Havas added a US arm, acquiring what was then America's biggest independent media buyer, SFM Media Corp, with billings of over $1bn. The following year, a merger was agreed with privately owned Spanish group Media Planning. This had been established in 1978 by Leopoldo Rodés Vila (previously the founder and former owner of creative agency Tiempo until its acquisition by BBDO), and had built up a strong presence in Spain, Portugal and Latin America. The merged entity started life with around 15 offices in 10 countries worldwide, including the US, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. To begin with, Havas was the largest single shareholder in the new business with 45%. But the existing Media Planning shareholders shared the majority stake in the business between them, and the business kept its HQ in Spain.
Gradually, Havas became increasingly uncomfortable with its minority position. In 2000, the group announced plans to transfer its US agencies' media departments into the Media Planning group. The first agency to transfer was Jordan McGrath Case Euro RSCG. As part of the restructure Media Planning set up a second HQ in the US. SFM adopted the Media Planning name at the same time. Two months later, the French group announced it would buy out its Spanish partners, taking full control of the group, now branded as MPG. The agency's Spanish shareholders received €51m and a 9% stake in Havas in return for their shares.
The group took what was intended to be another giant step forward in summer 2001, with the announcement of a merger with UK-based media independent network Tempus. Almost immediately, that deal was derailed by WPP. (See Tempus profile for more). Instead the group began absorbing the US media divisions of the Havas-owned Arnold Worldwide network, a process that did not go entirely smoothly.
In 2003 the agency was badly dented when it lost the Orange mobile account in several territories. Probably the worst hit market was the UK, where Orange was estimated to have accounted for as much as half of billings. Rumours swirled around the company for much of 2003 and 2004, with reports that Havas had received at least one offer for a 49% stake in MPG. The buyer was not identified, but was thought by some observers to be Interpublic, seeking to strengthen its Initiative Media network. Any such negotiations were hampered towards the end of 2004 by corporate raider Vincent Bolloré's acquisition of a stake in Havas, and the uncertainty of his intentions. Further heavy blows came with the loss of the Volkswagen group account in the US in early 2005, and of the worldwide Intel account. The agency later cut 15% of its North American workforce, although it said all its offices in the region would remain open. See full profile for current activities
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