Havas stuck in the slow lane as UK media hits the buffers

Is there anything worse that being a big holding company mired amid client cutbacks and a collapsing media agency business? How about being a small(ish) holding company mired…

Havas has reported just 0.1 per cent organic growth in Q3 2017, an improvement on Q2’s -O.9 per cent admittedly. For the first nine months the figure is -0.3 per cent.

North America was a relative bright spot with 2.9 per cent growth in the third quarter against -1.7 per cent in Q2, with Arnold the standout. The UK was a disaster area with a 10.9 per cent drop into negative territory. Boss Yannick Bolloré says: “There are many factors at work, foremost among them reduced spending by most of our clients or a change of management in certain countries, such as in our UK media agency.” Long-serving UK media boss Paul Frampton left a few weeks ago.

For the first nine months revenue was flat at $1.6bn.

Havas, now owned by French media giant Vivendi controlled by Vincent Bolloré, has re-organised itself into a number of big country “villages” and now has basically two brands, Havas Creative and Havas Media plus Arnold in the US.

So far, however, this radical re-organisation doesn’t seem to be paying off despite optimistic noises from Yannick Bolloré.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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