Havas, the international communications agency, has strengthened its position as a leader in North and Southeast Asia (SEA). Joji Jacob has been named Regional Chief Creative Officer for both regions. The choice is consistent with Havas’s aggressive and updated growth plan. Jacob will continue to serve as BLKJ Havas Singapore’s creative partner and co-founder in addition to his new role. It will guarantee that Havas’ artistic pursuits combine innovation and continuity.
Havas appoints Joji Jacob as SEA and North Asia CCO
Jacob will take on full responsibility in his new position for directing the creative direction and making sure it integrates seamlessly into client engagements throughout the region. Jacob is an established figure who chairs Havas’ APAC board and is on the Global Creative Council. Along with other council members, he will work closely to advance creative excellence in local offices and investigate fresh, cutting-edge approaches to storytelling, all with the primary goal of forging deep connections.
Having worked in the advertising industry for over two decades, Jacob’s highlights include major contributions to well-known agencies in Singapore and India. BLKJ, which was co-founded in 2016 and joined the Havas family in 2021, has amassed a distinguished clientele that includes prestigious companies like Great Eastern, the Republic of Singapore Air Force, the Economic Development Board of Singapore, JLL, and many more.
Jacob spent nine years at DDB as Group Executive Creative Director before joining BLKJ Havas. The agency became one of the most decorated at major industry shows under his direction, winning multiple awards. Jacob has been named Singapore’s Most Influential Creative Director by the Institute of Advertising Singapore. He has also been named Southeast Asia’s Creative Person of the Year by Campaign for the past two years in a row. Additionally, he has been a member of important juries for prestigious international and regional award shows. These include Spikes Asia, One Show, Cannes, D&AD, and LIA. Havas is taking a major step toward enhancing its creative capabilities. Moreover, it is expanding into Southeast and North Asia with this leadership enhancement.
Here’s what they said
Rana Barua expressed his views stating,
As a network, our united focus is consistently directed towards delivering clients a meaningful experience through exceptional work, achieved by investing in the best talent. Joji, with his extensive experience and creative strength across the region, will enhance our overall creative output, and play a universal role in fostering positive momentum for all markets, building towards the goal of One Asia. This appointment underscores Havas’ commitment to cultivating top-tier creative leadership, driving the creative mandate and signifies a significant stride toward achieving our growth objectives in these dynamic markets.
Joji Jacob on his appointment said,
I’ve spent 20 years as a creative, with the last ten years spent leading a creative business. So, I step into this role not just with experience but also with a beginner’s mindset. Rana and I have been discussing the many plans and ambitions and my job is to help create the conditions that enable our people make the best work of their lives for our clients, and I find myself at the right place and at the right time. Havas is a place where the entrepreneurial spirit thrives, meaning it’s not set in its ways. We can respond to a rapidly changing marketplace with agility which I find exciting. And Rana’s energy is infectious, that’s one bug I’m happy to catch.
The share price of French media conglomerate Vivendi has surged. This is a result of its potential split into three distinct listed companies. In an attempt to increase the value of his company, French billionaire Vincent Bollore is considering dissolving his vast media and entertainment conglomerate, Vivendi SE. The plan calls for the roughly €10 billion ($10.9 billion) French conglomerate to be divided into three separate businesses: the Pay-TV division, Canal+; the advertising and communications branch, Havas; and a business that includes its majority stake in the publishing group, Lagardère Group.
Vivendi contemplates a three-way split
The company argues that this is because, as a unified entity, its shares are sold at a discount, which limits its capacity to carry out its intended expansion plan. The value of the various entities would be maximized by splitting them into three companies. Vivendi claims that splitting itself into three sections will allow it to fully realize the development potential of all of its operations. Each of its three business divisions is currently seeing rapid growth in the global market, which is accompanied by a wealth of investment opportunities.
Rise in revenue and profit valuations
Should the split proceed, Havas and Canal+, Vivendi’s primary revenue and profit stream, will be spun off as independent businesses. After separating from their parent company, this could result in valuations of roughly €3 billion for Havas and €6.1 billion for Canal+. Regarding its €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) ownership of the former telecom monopoly Telecom Italia SpA, Vivendi is also exploring options.
Subsequently, the organization intends to establish a third publicly traded division as an investment firm. It would accommodate Lagardère and encompass additional listed and unlisted assets in media and entertainment firms. To investigate a possible split, Vivendi will consult its “usual” banks and advisors. Any strategy must benefit all parties involved and consider tax implications. The market valuation of the three distinct entities might be roughly 40% higher than their current valuation.
Vivendi’s split from Universal Music Group
The news comes two years after Vivendi split from Universal Music Group in a highly successful IPO. This gave shareholders ownership of 60% of the company’s shares. The board is now permitted to investigate the possibility of dividing into three companies. Ad holding company Havas Group would once again become an independent publicly traded company if the plan is approved. This was the case until Vivendi purchased it in 2017.
It’s an indication of how Bollore, the industrialist and corporate raider who invested in Vivendi for the first time in 2011, is still shaping the organization. He is essentially leading even though he is no longer the chair. 2018 saw him fold into another business he owned, the advertising agency Havas, after first selling off his video game and telecom assets. At the time, he held just under 30% of the group’s shares.
Vivendi’s efforts for business synergies and cohesion
For a considerable time, investors and Vivendi have been frustrated by the group’s operating businesses’ lack of coherence and synergies. Since his father’s official retirement in 2022, Yannick Bollore has been working to make things better. Vivendi declared that it would evaluate the viability of the suggested split. It would take into account the tax implications for shareholders, in collaboration with banks and other advisors. There was no deadline given for finishing the assessment, but information will be shared “in due course.” The split plans were announced only a few weeks after Vivendi effectively acquired the rival Lagardère group, expanding its holdings to include publishing house Hachette.
At the AAAI Annual General Meeting on December 1, Prasanth Kumar, CEO-South Asia of GroupM Media (India) Pvt Ltd, was re-elected to the position of President of the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) for the 2023–2024 term. The Association unanimously chose Rana Barua, Group CEO of Havas Worldwide India, as vice president. As the immediate past president of AAAI, Anupriya Acharya, Chief Executive Officer of Publicis Group South Asia, will serve as an ex-officio member of the AAI Board from 2023 to 2024.
Other elected members of the AAAI Board
- Sam Balsara – Madison Communications Pvt. Ltd
- Tanya Goyal – Everest Brand Solutions Pvt Ltd
- Vishandas Hardasani – Matrix Publicities and Media India Pvt Ltd
- Mohit Joshi – Havas Media India Pvt Ltd
- Kunal Lalani – Crayons Advertising
- Chandramouli Muthu – Maitri Advertising Works Pvt Ltd
- Sridhar Ramasubramanian – Beehive Communications Pvt Ltd
- Vikram Sakhuja – Platinum Advertising Pvt Ltd
- K Srinivas – Sloka Advertising Pvt Ltd
Here’s what they said
Prasanth Kumar, CEO-South Asia of GroupM Media (India) Pvt Ltd said,
I am deeply grateful to the members of the AAAI for re- electing me as President, a role I accept with great honor and responsibility. Our collective vision is to strengthen an inclusive environment, actively engaging with all stakeholders to shape a dynamic and future-ready organization. Our commitment is steadfast in strengthening unwavering support for every member, recognizing that while we have achieved a few milestones together, there is still a considerable journey ahead. This prospect excites us; it fuels our motivation. When we collaborate and exert our combined efforts, we not only enhance each year for everyone involved but also solidify our resolve to be architects of change within our industry. We stand dedicated to not just witnessing but actively creating a transformative era, steering our organization towards new horizons of innovation and impact.
On his appointment as Vice President, AAAI Rana Barua commented,
I am passionate about policymaking that leads to impactful and positive changes to the advertising industry, that benefit all the stakeholders, including, media, consumers, and advertising agencies. I believe in the potential of advertising to foster economic development and enhance meaningful social changes. I look forward to collaborating with the AAAI members to bring these shared goals to life.
Havas has revealed that it has paid an undisclosed amount to acquire a majority stake in Klareco Communications. The most reputable corporate, financial, and strategic communications consultant in Southeast Asia, Klareco Communications is a Singapore-based organization. Havas determined that the Singapore-based organization would be the best place to start the long-term APAC expansion of H/Advisors, its strategic communications advisory division. H/Advisors Klareco will be the new name of Klareco Communications upon closing.
Havas acquires a majority stake
The acquisition takes place at a moment when the importance of a company’s reputation is greater than ever. Global reputation protection and strategic communication are more important than ever as institutions and individuals deal with complex challenges brought on by geopolitical events, technological advancements, and climate change.
Singapore- the global hub for innovation and business development
Acknowledged as a worldwide center for innovation and business growth, Singapore will play a pivotal role in helping H/Advisors guide its global clientele through this macroeconomic landscape. Using its integrated Village approach, it will also further solidify Havas’ presence in Singapore and add new capabilities to better serve its clientele. Klareco Communications’ inclusion is a significant advancement in H/Advisors’ strategic expansion plan. Renowned for its award-winning work across the entire communications spectrum, the agency is a trusted advisor to top multinational corporations and Asian-based businesses. It has advised on some of Singapore’s biggest financial transactions, protected and enhanced corporate reputations, and addressed the most difficult business challenges, including cyberattacks.
H/Advisors previous acquisitions
This new addition is a major achievement for H/Advisors in the wake of the successful launch of H/Advisors in Dubai earlier this year and the recent acquisition of Cunha Vas & Associados, a leading PR and communications consultancy in Portugal, and Australian Public Affairs, a renowned and successful public affairs agency in Australia. It has made a name for itself as a pioneer in public affairs, transformation advisory, and financial communications. This calculated move is in line with the growing demand from clients looking for all-encompassing, diversified support during their journey of transformation.
After restructuring in less than a year, H/Advisors has grown into a vibrant international network with 1500 specialists spread across 23 countries. H/Advisors Klareco and its senior management group will play a major role in the strategic advisory network. CEO and co-founder Ang Shih-Huei and managing director and co-founder Mark Worthington comprise the local leadership. They will join the Asia board to assist in guiding and leading the expansion of H/Advisors in Asia-Pacific.
Here’s what they said
Yannick Bolloré, chairman and Global CEO, Havas, and chairman, Vivendi, said,
Our partnership with Klareco allows us to draw on their breadth of experience and knowledge of the Asian market as we continue to expand our Havas presence in APAC. We are delighted to welcome the well-respected Klareco team onboard and look forward to achieving great things together.
Stéphane Fouks, executive chairman, H/Advisors, and vice president, Havas added,
2023 has been an outstanding year of growth for H/Advisors, with the opening of our Dubai office and the acquisitions of CV&A (Portugal) & APA (Australia) and now our partnership with Klareco, which will strengthen our offering not only in APAC but globally. Klareco is the leading communications advisory in Southeast Asia, and we are delighted to welcome Shih-Huei, Mark and the talent and experience they will bring to H/Advisors.
Ang Shih-Huei, CEO and co-founder of H/Advisors Klareco commented,
As an independent firm, we have already been working with some of the largest MNCs and leading Asian headquartered companies. H/Advisors allows us to deepen our core communications offering across corporate, financial, digital and public affairs, and expand our expertise in fast growing areas such as sustainability and change communications, to ensure we continue to deliver best practice for our clients. Our teams are excited for this new chapter ahead.
Mark Worthington, managing director and co-founder of H/Advisors Klareco stated,
We are delighted to partner with H/Advisors to enhance our standing as a landing point for international firms coming to, or expanding in Asia. Increasingly, boards and management face complex communications challenges as they expand internationally. We are excited to build on our offering to support these challenges, ensuring we have expertise and relationships in the markets our clients need.
Havas Group and SaaS company Mirakl have announced a global agreement in order to boost its retail and e-commerce media. Through platform innovation, Mirakl, a pioneering and top SaaS solution, helps organizations turn into digital enterprises. One of the biggest international communication networks in the world is Havas. Through the cooperation, clients of Havas Group will be able to use Mirakl’s services to market their goods on marketplaces run by Mirakl. Additionally, it presents the SaaS platform as a valuable ally in helping Havas customers establish and expand their marketplace.
Utilizing Mirakl’s distinctive AI-powered advertising technology tailored for marketplaces and e-commerce, the partnership will produce the most potent standalone retail media network for brands and merchants. Additionally, it will make use of the partnerships and clients of both organizations. With this collaborative offering, Mirakl will enable companies and brands to use its software to manage their dropship and third-party marketplace operations.
Building a retail media network
Retail media, according to Mirakl, enables businesses to make money off 97% of website visitors who don’t make purchases. By 2027, it will have opened up a brand-new market with a potential worth of over $160 billion worldwide. Retail media are advertisements displayed on both physical and digital platforms at the point of sale or at the point of preference between two brands. The international cooperation equips Mirakl and Havas clients with the resources they need to capitalize on retail media opportunities and seize this highly lucrative potential. It combines Havas Market, a full-service e-commerce platform, with the prestigious technology suite of solutions from Mirakl.
Retailers will be able to effortlessly monetize their consumers thanks to the new platform, which is brand-neutral. Without exposing their data, it will enable marketers to maximize the money they spend on digital advertising on e-commerce platforms. More than 400 businesses worldwide will have a choice of Mirakl Ads in all formats thanks to the new solution’s direct integration into the Mirakl suite. This will contain sponsored search banners that have been created to give users interesting, improved experiences.
Customers turn to digital
Through Mirakl Connect, Havas Market-sponsored brands will have direct, seamless access to the 400+ Mirakl markets. The tools and adaptable onboarding solutions created by Mirakl Connect will make it simple for these firms to manage and advance their e-commerce strategy across a number of Mirakl-powered marketplaces. Through a combined offer, Mirakl will be Havas’ preferred partner in assisting with the creation and expansion of marketplaces across its network of clients.
Retailers will be able to monetize their audiences with Mirakl Ads, the ad solution in the Mirakl suite. Furthermore, brands will be able to maximize their digital expenditures on e-commerce websites. The only marketplace-ready ad solution that is specifically designed for e-commerce is Mirakl Ads. With 200+ clients, it combines distinctive AI-powered technology with a strong global network of completely integrated buyers and sellers. It accounts for roughly 1.3 billion monthly visitors.
Here’s what they said
Yannick Bolloré, Chairman and CEO of Havas shared,
With Havas Market we’re committed to taking a holistic, customer-centric view of our clients’ businesses to find the best solutions to create meaningful shopping experiences for consumers and drive incremental revenue for brands across all sales channels. Enabling our clients’ retail transformation requires partnering with the leading providers in the industry, and with Mirakl we’re building a truly synergistic offering that will deliver growth for both our clients and our organizations.
Philippe Corrot, co-CEO & cofounder of Mirakl added,
B2B and B2C companies have no other choice but to further digitize their activities. Platform models such as marketplaces and dropship as well as Retail Media are among the strongest levers to generate new sources of growth and profitability. By joining forces with Havas, we will together accelerate the adoption of the platform models at a global scale for the benefits of Consumers, Operators and Third-party sellers. The strength of the network and the expertise of Havas and Mirakl combined will create a global leader in Retail Media extending the value creation for our common customers.
Red Havas Middle East, the Havas Group’s public relations branch in the Middle East, has announced the beginning of SWAY, a global influencer marketing program. The information was released on all of the PR firm’s social media channels. The influencer marketing effort, which had just been introduced in the area, became global on July 17, 2023. SWAY by Red Havas is a complete solution to an influencer marketing platform. It intends to assist companies in generating effective, entertaining, and realistic brand discussions via influencers.
SWAY for Influencer Marketing
SWAY by Red Havas combines PR, social media, and experiential marketing teams to create social media-first marketing campaigns with influencers that have a real impact on the bottom line. Influencer marketing is becoming more recognized as a performance channel. This led to the creation of an international practice. Through yearly market-leading insights and patterns, in-house specialist-led creative workshops, and panels with partner talent agents, the SWAY specialists will also push the influencer agenda at an industry level. Additionally, it includes premier centers in the Middle East, Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America.
Through a five-step recommended framework from recognition through measurement, the project provides an end-to-end solution for influencer marketing.
- A roadmap for a strategic cadence with a focus on genuine, long-lasting connections.
- Defined channel roles across all social media outlets.
- Provide guidance and brand reputation management for novel and developing technology trends.
- Close interactions with industry partners, and access to the best data and social media technologies.
- Tailored proxy metrics for thorough campaign assessment and reporting.
Here’s what they said
James Wright, global CEO of the Red Havas Group, and global chairman of the Havas PR Global Collective said in the announcement,
More brands than ever before are adapting their broader strategy and communications to include significant influencer activity. Some even put influencer marketing front and center, recognizing it as a full-funnel marketing channel. It’s no longer just a paid transaction. Brands are building long-term relationships with influencers who advocate their messages and experiences.
He continued by saying that the Red Havas Group has worked in this area for years. The next logical step would be to explicitly focus on this as a worldwide practice as they are now working with more than 100 businesses and organizations on their influencer activities.
Dana Tahir, Managing Director, Red Havas Middle East added,
SWAY empowers us to leverage the technical prowess of the Red Havas network, combined with deep local understanding, to guarantee unparalleled influencer campaigns to our clients, both at a regional and worldwide scale. The role of influencers, particularly in the Middle East, holds paramount significance as they hold the ability to bridge connections and foster authentic engagement, establishing a profound impact on the audiences they reach.
Havas Media, a Paris-based agency network, acquired a majority stake of 51% in UK’s Uncommon Creative Studio. Havas is a relatively small agency compared to the big six agencies with respect to revenue and workforce. Hence, this acquisition is a breakthrough for them. Founded in 2017, Uncommon Creative Studio is the UK’s most award-winning and rapidly growing independent creative agency. They have already garnered the attention of some of the world’s largest and most prominent companies.
Massive news. So proud to welcome one of the best independent creative agency in the world @uncommon_LDN to the Havas family!@donna_murphy @nilsleonard @LucyJameson_ @nattergraeme https://t.co/1NnwElX90R
— Yannick Bolloré (@YannickBollore) July 12, 2023
As part of its commitment to foster creativity, Havas signed this deal to invest in significant brands. The deal also reflects their business methodology and values future potential at £80-120 million considering Uncommon Studio’s growth projections. Uncommon will preserve its brand, vision, and freedom in decision-making across its clients, partners, internal teams, and productive turnout. Management will retain a 49% material stake in the business, maintaining entrepreneurial zest. As a result, it will allow them to expand the brand globally, and share best practices across Havas and its parent company, Vivendi.
Yannick Bolloré, Chairman and CEO, Havas stated,
Uncommon will bring new energy, creativity, and audiences into Havas’ already leading-edge creative network, igniting, inspiring, and supporting every aspect of creativity.
He also added,
Uncommon have created a new space and energy in the industry. They are a once-in-a-decade company and having them join the Havas family is an exciting prospect.
Uncommon previously rejected deals proposed by other agencies. Nils Leonard, one of the three founders of Uncommon said,
This deal is different: it relies on freedom of choice, the ability to break down barriers, and the removal of dependency. We can create the industry we wish we worked in.
International Exposure for Uncommon Creative Studio
The London-based creative agency boasts a high clientele in the UK including ITV and British Airways. The agency has recently received the prestigious Cannes Lions Grand Prix for “A British Original Billboard campaign” designed for British Airways. They have twice been named UK’s Creative Agency of the Year and International Agency of the Year by Ad Age.
Additionally, Uncommon hosts an extensive list of clientele in the U.S. This was attainable because of their diversified and global mentality, reputation for creativity, and distinctive studio style. As a result, the Uncommon-Havas deal will boost the former’s international expansion plans.
Uncommon Creative Studios will also enjoy collaborating with Havas’ strong network and top-notch entertainment brands. They will also be in a position to work with leading companies like Universal Music Group, Gameloft, and Canal+ with this partnership
The Advertising Industry Scenario
Most agencies are scrambling to propose contracts with data and technology-focused companies. The ad industry is determined to leverage artificial intelligence to reduce expenses and increase momentum. Forrester reports that by 2030, ad agencies will automate 7.5% of their jobs.
Amidst all this, Havas has placed importance on the human creativity aspect of the industry. As such, this acquisition comes in as a ray of hope for creative agencies. Uncommon Creative Studios has 169 employees working under them. The company also does not plan to lay off anyone in the near future or because of the deal. Instead, they plan to hire qualified staff for their U.S. office. Uncommon is estimated to be worth £156 million by 2030 with this deal. As a result, this deal would make Uncommon one of the most successful creative agency start-ups in the UK.