2015 could have been a standout year for Havas Media Group but for some new-business mishaps. Paul Frampton – who was promoted to chief executive of the group in February 2016 – may be forgiven for wondering what might have been.
July saw Havas Media snatch back the BBC’s £15 million media account from MEC Manchester, resulting in the setting up of the first UK "Havas Village" in Manchester in November. The BBC success came within weeks of the network winning the international Ubisoft account from Maxus.
But, in October, Arena Media had to surrender its recent Virgin Atlantic win after Emirates, a Havas Media client, claimed a conflict. Then, a week later, Ubisoft returned to Group M, amid tensions with Vivendi, a Bolloré Group sister company, which had increased its stake in the games publisher. The Virgin loss was a blow for Arena, which seemed on a roll after picking up EA Games and Royal Mail.
Accolades included a Campaign Media Award for Arena’s "pizza legends" for Domino’s Pizza, and Media Week Awards for Westfield London’s "out from under the roof" and Forward’s content tie-up between Channel 4 and O2.
The group added talent, hiring Julia Jordan, formerly of UKTV, to lead specialist teams, and partnered with Genero, the online video community, to boost branded content. Digital now makes up 38 per cent of the group’s output.
Havas Media Group’s eight companies now fall under one P&L but, as Virgin Atlantic and Ubisoft showed, size isn’t everything.
How the agency rates itself: 8
"A year of accelerated change and growth. We brought eight businesses together under one leadership team, grew to 750 people and achieved 18 per cent growth with billings of more than £500 million. We added the BBC, Coca-Cola, EA Games and Royal Mail to our roster, formed a sports and entertainment hub, extended our footprint in the North West and furthered the Havas Village offering in Ireland."
|Havas Media Group|
|Type of agency||Media|
|Nielsen billings 2015||£283m|
|Nielsen billings 2014||£229m|
|Total accounts at year end||166|
|Accounts won||25 (biggest: EA Games)|
|Accounts lost||9 (biggest: Betfair)|
|Number of staff||750 (n/a)|
|Women in senior management||30%|
|BAME staff in senior management||0%|
|Key personnel||Paul Frampton, chief executive
Natasha Murray, managing director, Havas Media UK
Henry Daglish, managing director, Arena Media UK
Ed Cox, managing director, Forward Media UK
Julia Jordan, chief investment and digital 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.