School Reports 2016: Havas Helia


In last year's school report, we questioned whether Havas Helia could strengthen its new-business machine in 2015. It seems that the agency spent 2015 proving it could.

Havas Worldwide’s decision to drop the EHS moniker and set up Helia, a new global network to house its data and digital business, is paying off.

Havas Helia says 2015 was its strongest ever for new business as it welcomed seven new clients through the door, including The Co-operative Bank, Gap, Peperami, Regus, Royal Mail and Westfield.

Saving the biggest for the end of the year, the agency also picked up the international CRM account for Adidas in December.

However, it lost E.ON and Nestlé, and resigned the TSB business. Another 13 projects came to an end. Another exit came on the people side towards the end of the year when Lee Thomas, the head of content and strategy, joined iProspect UK.

Havas Helia’s work for Dove will have been one to make Yannick Bolloré, the chairman and chief executive at Havas, proud. The "fatherhood moments" campaign showing candid footage of men learning that they are going to be a dad may have stuck to Dove’s soppy formula but it was a popular one. It was shared 28,031 times around Father’s Day and entered the Campaign Viral Chart in the same week. The video has since clocked up 17.5 million views on YouTube.

The agency didn’t fall short on the awards side either, picking up silverware for its 2014 FaceTime campaign for Tarquin’s Gin and the CRM programme for easyJet. Dove’s "choose beautiful" was also shortlisted for a Creative Innovation Lion at Cannes.

How the agency rates itself: 7

"Seven client wins, crowned by Adidas in December, made 2015 our strongest year for new business. Continued growth and investment in Unilever, two Cannes Lions and numerous other awards builds on our improving creative reputation. This, along with (our festival of creativity and data), proves that by bringing these two disciplines together we are delivering on our promise of "smarter art". An air of optimism flows through Havas Helia for 2016."

Havas Helia
Type of agency Customer engagement
Company ownership Havas
Declared income £27.4m (2014)
Total accounts at year end 30
Accounts won 7 (biggest: Adidas)
Accounts lost 16 (biggest: E.ON)
Number of staff 343 (+9%)
Key personnel Tash Whitmey, chief executive
Tracey Barber, group chief marketing officer
Paul Ward, head of operations and innovation, UK group
Steven Bennett-Day, executive creative director
David Williams, chief operating officer

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

Footnote: *indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.