Tracey Barber

Tracey Barber

UK group chief marketing officer

Havas Creative Group

Contact me
  • 07950 181189
  • batracey
  • The HKX Building, 3 Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG, United Kingdom
Work email

tracey.barber@havas.com

What's your big ambition for the year ahead?

More growth, more wins, more awards. Oh, and agency of the year. Sorry, I am a bit obsessive.

Your mission: make advertising a desirable career for young people. What do you do?

Start blowing our own trumpet a little harder. As an industry, we've had a tendency to be incredibly self-flagellating over the past few years. And on some occasions, rightly so. But we're extremely lucky to work in this industry (and after god knows how many years, I still believe that). It's still a great industry to work in and brilliant young people still want to be part of it. Let's just make sure we're attracting a diverse range of those young people lest we end up on a slippery slope to irrelevance.

Which industry leader has most impressed you with their ability to transform a business?

Can I put the entire Havas team? Because I reckon impressive transformation has to be driven by teams, not just individuals. And I don't think any agency has been more transformed – structurally, culturally, creatively and reputationally – than Havas over the past 18 months.

What's your most annoying professional trait?

A total inability to be either tactful or subtle. What you see is most definitely what you get.

And what's your most embarrassing personal habit?

As above. Personal and professional tend to be much the same thing.

You've invented yourself an AI assistant. What's the first thing you'd ask it to do?

Oh, just to sort out a bit of time travel so I could be a little less manic and a little more "in control".

Which app would you redownload first after a digital detox?

WhatsApp, so I can talk to my children. I say "talk"; I actually mean "check they are still alive" (I might be a bit obsessive about them, too).

What's your side-hustle?

Trying to get the equality agenda taken seriously across countries and across industries. The UN's Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality goal should be achievable – and god knows, we don't have any excuses if it isn't – but only if we approach it differently.

What's your fantasy Campaign headline?

Women now occupy more than 50% of all senior leadership positions.

What's the soundtrack to your life?

Sisters are Doin' it for Themselves.

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