by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) The third virtual session of the AdForum Worldwide Summit 2020 on Wednesday 1 July was with Havas Creative, and the team included: Chris Hirst, Havas Creative Group global CEO; Tracey Barber, Havas Creative Group global CMO; Vicki Maguire, Havas London CCO; Laura Maness, Havas New York CEO; and Bre Rossetti, Arnold and Havas Media Boston chief strategy officer.

Hirst told us pitch consultants that Havas Creative has identified some major trends and that humanity, ecology, and technology will be the deciding factors for customers to select brands and, indeed, even for marketers to select their creative agencies.

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Havas facts

AdForum Worldwide Summit 2020 Havas Creative red thread

Havas is owned by Vivendi; it has multiple business disciplines within the Havas Group; and Havas CX and Havas Global production will be launched later this year. Plus June 2020 is a very different world to December 2019.

Rossetti focused on the overall philosophy for Havas, which is about “Meaningful Brands” and the ongoing research that it conducts:

  • 77% of brands could disappear and no-one would care
  • Brands overpromise and underdeliver
  • 84% of consumers thinks that brands and companies should communicate more honestly

A case study for client, PUMA, and its relationship to basketball was featured to illustrate these points.

Meaningful creative

Maguire commented more about meaningful creative, and the agency had set up a microsite for AdForum where we could access her choices of meaningful work produced by Havas. She is a recent addition to Havas London and she explained that she joined because of the Havas value system and the opportunity to do more purposeful work.

Laura Maness focused on some client highlights, notably for its global flagship client, Reckitt Benckiser:

  • 19-year partnership
  • 14 power global brands
  • Presence in 100 countries
  • 150 brands
  • Committed to cause-worthy advertising and marketing

New business

AdForum Worldwide Summit 2020 Havas Creative in 2019Tracey Barber focused on the new-business track record for the agency in the past year and a half:

  • 18 months ago, Havas was on 20% of new-business pitch lists
  • Now it’s on 65% of new-business pitches split as follows:
    • 30% integrated
    • 25% PR and brand
    • 20% CRM

In 2020, it has already won 210 pitches, many of which have been supported by the agency’s new capabilities:

  • Social and content
  • Public affairs
  • Multicultural
  • Brand and management consultancy


AdForum Worldwide Summit 2020 Havas Creative face masksDuring the Q&A session, Hirst advised that the agency’s lasting effect on client business as a result of covid-19 will follow the thread of humanity, ecology and technology.

Consultants noted a big shift in the Havas offering and success rating.

Prior to the session, Havas ensured that all of us had received a highly relevant gift of masks and a message from the local producers. IAS consultants each received a package of three delightfully designed masks made by the women of POWA, along with a suitable message. Very special.

Our next session will be with Omnicom Group today, Thursday 2 July.

See also


Johanna McDowellJohanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) is MD of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS), which is partnered with the AAR Group in the UK. Twice a year she attends AdForum Worldwide Summits. Further information and case studies from Havas Creative will be shared at her IAS masterclasses for agencies and marketers on 14 and 21 July 2020.

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