School Reports 2017: Havas London


Score: 6
Last year: 6

How the agency rates itself: 6

A couple of cute teddy bears helped Heathrow pull out a Christmas ad to rival John Lewis – and that’s no mean feat for an agency that hasn’t been known for its creative work for some time. The appointment of Andy Sandoz and Ben Mooge as joint executive creative directors in late 2015 has started to pay off.

The agency’s work for the Huawei P9 phone depicted a playful battle of one-upmanship between Scarlett Johansson and Henry Cavill. Unfortunately, there was little other evidence of Havas’ creative flair, which is probably down to a lack of sexy accounts for Sandoz and Mooge to work their magic on.

New business needs to continue to improve but Havas is on the right track. In 2016 it brought in GlaxoSmithKline and Jury’s Inn in addition to Huawei and Heathrow and extended its relationship with existing clients Ballantine’s, Ella’s Kitchen, RB and Credit Suisse.

The agency said it parted with just one account – Iglo – but ten of Work Club’s digital projects came to an end, including British Gas, Coca-Cola, Twinnings and Rimmel. Xavier Rees, who joined as chief executive from Adam & Eve/DDB in the spring, must now get on the new-business trail.

Meanwhile, Havas chairman and chief executive Yannick Bolloré continued to work on creating a fully integrated operation, appointing Chris Hirst as group chairman for Havas Group UK with a brief to oversee the entire portfolio.

With the move to King’s Cross and the agencies now in the process of uniting under one P&L, Havas has the chance to show it is serious about making integration work for its clients – old and new.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

A whole bunch of new characters took over a mediocre agency and got it by the scruff of the neck.

Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question

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