Havas's UK subsidiaries include the main advertising agency, Havas London, as well as a sizeable collection of connected marketing services shops. Almost all of these units were combined under a single management team in 2003 as part of the network's "Power of One" strategy, rolled out to consolidate each of its regional businesses. As a result, Havas now offers a completely integrated service in the UK, although its constituent units continue to operate separately, while sharing a single financial structure. Other units under the umbrella of the London "Havas Village" include the local office of Havas Media, CRM agency Havas Helia, PR agencies One Green Bean and Red Havas, content and promotions developer Cake, design agency Conran Design, creative agency Field Day, strategic consultancy Maitland/Amo and healthcare units Havas Lynx and Havas So, among others. They all moved into a single shared building in Central London in 2017. Yet performance has been a little rocky in recent years, especially in the main advertising agency, resulting in several management changes and restructurings. In late 2015, Havas named Chris Hirst - the widely admired former CEO of Grey London - as CEO of Havas Worldwide Europe and the UK. He introduced greater stability to the UK group, but new business performance has remained lacklustre. Cornerstone clients Reckitt Benckiser and (to a lesser extent) Peugeot still dominate the agency's creative output. Xavier Rees is CEO of the main advertising agency, and also of previously separate data arm Havas Helia. Vicki Maguire joined Havas London as chief creative officer (from Grey) in 2019. Mark Whelan is chief creative officer for Havas Group UK. Nielsen (in Campaign) estimated billings of £112m in 2019. Havas Worldwide London Ltd, the legal entity for the main ad agency, reported turnover of £80m for 2018, with gross profit of £28.4m and a net loss of £472k.
Capsule checked 18th June 2020
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Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.
Historical profile information for Havas UK
Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Daily Update 25th Sep 2019: Grey London lost two senior executives in a single day to rival agencies. Chief creative officer Vicki Maguire announced her resignation after a decade at the agency to take up the same role at Havas London at the beginning of next year. At the same time, chief marketing officer Sarah Jenkins is leaving to become managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi London.
Adbrands Social Media 5th Jun 2018: Here's Havas London's first mainstream commercial for RB's automatic dish detergent Finish since winning the account back from Wieden & Kennedy London. We were big fans of the W&K ads and feared a return to the pedestrian work Havas still delivers for most its other RB brands. In fact we are pleasantly surprised. This probably won't qualify for too many Cannes Lions, but it's a good start.
Adbrands Weekly Update 10th Sep 2015: Ads of the Week: "Space Glass". Gorgeous and hypnotic new spot from Havas Work Club for Pernod-Ricard's Ballantine's whisky. The ad works beautifully in its own right, but it's underpinned by a rather gimmicky concept about blending a whisky that tastes right in micro-gravity (where normal senses behave a little differently), and then designing the glass to drink it from. Click through at the end to learn more if you really must, but it's little more than a red herring to justify an otherwise excellent ad. Separately, Australian PR agency One Green Bean, a unit of Havas, absorbed the the UK office of its parent group's eponymous public relations unit. Havas PR London has been absorbed into the newly established One Green Bean office, set up earlier this year, under the latter's management team.
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th April 2015: In another executive change at Havas Worldwide, UK chairman and global president Kate Robertson has resigned to join former Havas CEO David Jones at the charitable organisation One Young World, which they jointly founded. Her departure comes two months after the appointment of Chris Hirst as European CEO, though he is unable to join the network until Sept because of his previous contract with Grey.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Feb 2015: Havas Worldwide has scored a significant personnel coup, poaching Grey London's CEO Chris Hirst to become group chief executive of Havas Creative Group UK & Europe. Hirst will oversee all the network's UK offices, as well as the main Havas Worldwide outposts in Europe (but not BETC). Havas ousted UK chief executive Russ Lidstone last month after a dismal new business performance.
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