Havas's UK subsidiaries include the main advertising agency, Havas London, as well as a 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 the agency now offers a completely integrated service in the UK, although its constituent units continue to operate separately, while sharing the umbrella brand as well as a single financial structure. They all moved into a single shared building 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 has 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. Nielsen (in Campaign) estimated billings of £79m in 2017. That was also the reported turnover of Havas Worldwide London Ltd for 2016, with gross profit of £23.2m.
Capsule checked 14th June 2018
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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. Adbrands Weekly Update is a weekly summary of the latest news affecting leading advertisers and their advertising and marketing agencies.
Historical profile information for Havas UK
Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
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.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Jan 2015: There were a number of new developments at Havas Worldwide. Perhaps the most significant was the launch of a new global data analytics & digital network under the banner name Helia. The new business opens in the US, UK and China, with the rebranding of the outposts currently trading as Havas EHS and Havas Discovery. It will be jointly run by Havas EHS's CEO Tash Whitmey, COO Matt Fanshawe and Havas Worldwide Chicago's Paul Marobella. Separately, Havas Worldwide London announced the departure of local CEO Russ Lidstone, following a new business performance described bluntly by UK chairman Kate Robertson as "shocking... really poor". Instead, the agency tightened its ties with recently acquired digital agency Havas Work Club, naming that shop's founder and CEO Martin Brooks as joint managing partner of Havas Worldwide London alongside Daniel Floyed, previously global brand director for the Pernod-Ricard account. At the same time, it has established a creative council across all its UK offices to oversee creative output.
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