Havas shows London ambition with new CCO Vicki Maguire from Grey

Grey London CCO Vicki Maguire, one of London’s highest profile creatives, is joining Havas London in the same role.

Havas is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vivendi, also run by the Bollore clan, and this is a bold statement of its ambition in London as well as elsewhere. It recently took a majority stake in go-go French agency Buzzman.

The switch may be a blow to Grey owner WPP CEO Mark Read who has made much of his desire to keep and attract top notch creatives.

Havas London CEO Xavier Rees (below with Maguire) says: “We’ve been holding out for someone special and we’ve finally found her. The minute I met Vix, something just clicked.

 

“She’s a creative icon and the fact that she’s chosen to join Havas London speaks volumes for what we’re building here. We have big ambitions and now our gang’s complete, we can really up the ante.”

Maguire says: “I can’t tell you how much love I have for Grey London. The last ten years have been a fucking rollercoaster ride and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was always going to take something pretty special to tempt me away, and in all honesty, I didn’t think it would be an agency..but then I met Xav and the Havas crew.

“I was blown away by their energy and ambition. We started talking and we haven’t stopped. I’m so excited to get started and see what we can do together.”

The UK ad world will be watching. Maguire has few equals in garnering headlines but Grey’s recent record is mixed. It has lost Lucozade and M&S clothing and has still to recapture the glory days of creative supremo Nils Leonard, boss Chris Hirst and Europe boss David Patton.

But Hirst, now running Europe for Havas, has presumably given Maguire a good write-up.

Grey London now has Adrian Rossi from AMV BBDO in place as “creative chairman,” David Droga style. Is this anything to do with Maquire’s departure?

These holding company comings and goings are more complicated than Brexit.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.