Havas Media Group (HMG) is axing the Arena Media brand in the UK after 12 years as part of a restructure into three core service areas: Havas Media, Havas Entertainment and ecommerce offering Havas Market.
Havas Entertainment is a new proposition and will be headed up by Nick Wright. Wright, who joined Havas in 2013, is currently the managing director of Jump, HMG’s content and partnership division.
Affleck told Campaign there would be no redundancies are a result of the restructure. He said: "Digital transformation has been accelerated by the pandemic and the rapid change in consumer and business behaviour and as such we need to strip away our own operating complexities to make it easier for our clients to access our specialised talent and capabilities to solve their challenges."
Havas Media will now inherit Arena Media clients such as Domino’s, Royal Mail, MoreThan, Savills and Ella’s Kitchen.
Arena Media had been without a dedicated managing director after Sarah Treliving left last year to join Goodstuff Communications. Stephanie Marks, the Havas Media MD, had taken over Arena duties and will continue in the same role.
Last year the agency retained Telefonica (owner of the O2 brand) and the BBC, as well as winning accounts for EDF and coffee group JDE Peet’s.
Arena was originally launched as a Havas network in 2002 and arrived in the UK when Havas bought independent media agency BLM in 2008 for a reported £20m to create Arena BLM.
BLM, the initials of agency founders Steve Booth, Nick Lockett and Charlie Makin, were dropped from the agency name in 2010.
Havas Media Group also shelved Forward Media – a dedicated agency to service Telefonica – in 2018. A dedicated Team Telefonica team now services the account.
HMG's parent company Havas, the world’s sixth biggest ad group, is keen to play up the advantage of being part of an entertainment conglomerate.
Vivendi, part-owned and controlled by the Bolloré Group, is the majority shareholder of Havas and its studio brands Universal Music Group and Studio Canal are Havas Media clients.
Jump will continue to exist as an agency brand within Havas Entertainment, but other entertainment shops, such as gaming specialist Target Entertainment, will be rebadged and integrated into Havas Entertainment.