Last year: 6
How the agency rates itself: 7
2016 was the year Havas Media Group boosted its content and entertainment credentials.
HMG made a virtue of its relationship with French media giant Vivendi, which is owned by Havas’ controlling shareholder Bolloré Group. In a switch from 2015, when the Vivendi link lost Arena Media business (Ubisoft), last year it brought work into the agencies. Vivendi-owned Universal Media Group moved its UK media to Arena Media in 2016. Havas Media picked up Swarovski’s global business, while Arena Media’s work on Domino’s campaign introduced the brand to new formats Snapchat and Spotify.
However, there were key client departures, particularly for Havas Media, which said goodbye to Nationwide’s £38m business after eight years and lost Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods (£9.9m). Arena Media said farewell to the Electronic Arts account.
Luxury specialist LuxHub launched in 2015 and enabled wins such as Topshop, Harrods and Selfridges. HMG created its third global media network, FullSix Media – a specialist in user experience and production – in July and acquired entertainment media group Target MCG in October.
The group took on 150 staff, although Arena Media managing director Henry Daglish moved on. Former managing partner Elliot Parkus replaced Daglish, while Havas Media recruited Matt Adams from iProspect to take over the UK agency chief executive role previously held by Paul Frampton.
With some new clients, more staff and an interesting brand proposition, HMG has stuff to crow about. However, the substantial losses it suffered last year mean the jury is out on whether HMG is any closer to challenging the likes of Group M and Omnicom. Maybe the recent restructure will make the difference.
How the agency describes its year in a tweet
HMG can claim a 360 proposition cutting across paid, owned, earned and shared with one fifth of our revenue originating from non-media.