Havas CEO David Jones (pictured) has made his first major move since taking over from majority shareholder Vincent Bollore last year by ditching the 20-year old Euro RSCG brand name and restructuring the company into Havas Advertising and Havas Media with Havas Digital as a separate umbrella brand within Advertising.
This presumably means the end of MPG or Media Planning Group as a brand too. Arnold Worldwide, the company’s second agency network, seems to be staying as it is for now as is nascent network BETC.
The changes come after Havas announced growth and profit figures roughly in line with those of its much larger competitor WPP; profits of £120m making it about an eighth the size of Sir Martin Sorrell’s behemoth. Revenue was €1.6bn (WPP’s figure is €11.5bn, Publicis Groupe €5.8bn).
Euro RSCG was formed in 1991 from a merger between Eurcom (formerly Havas Conseil) and the agency set up by Bernard Roux, maverick creative Jacques Seguela, Alain Cayzac and Jean Michel Goudard. While a strong brand name in France and the rest of Western Europe it is hardly such in the US and the rest of the world. Jones is also doubtless aware that anything with the word ‘Euro’ in front of it sounds a bit flaky these days given the problems in the eurozone.
Jones says: “The rebranding of Euro RSCG will reinforce the fact that our competitors have hundreds of brands and cultures and CEOs, and ours is an incredibly clear and simple structure.We haven’t got big, old-fashioned ad agencies who just do TV ads and have a separate digital silo.”
Jones claims that Havas now derives 23 per cent of its income from digital and social media. The company has recently picked up a string of digital assignments from big companies in the Far East and Jones clearly sees this as a way to increase its share of their budgets. The former Euro RSCG worked with more global clients than any other single agency network according to Ad Age.