Havas boosts Studios operation with Sanderson hire

Havas is beefing up its Havas Studios operation with the appointment of industry vet James Sanderson as its first global COO. Havas currently has production studios in London, Prague, New York, Chicago and Paris and what it describes as a low-cost offering in Kuala Lumpur. Further studios are planned for Latin America, China and India.

Sanderson (above) joins from consulting and services company ICP, where he was Global Creative Operations Practice lead. Prior to that he seems to have worked pretty well everywhere including a stint establishing the Wunderman Thompson Inside production arm and also at in-house network Oliver.

Havas Studios CEO Paul Ward says: “I met James six years ago and knew then that at some point we’d work together. As we started to hone the Havas Studios business plan, I naturally found myself drawing a James shaped role into the business – he brings exactly what we need to get us to the next level. He is an exceptional operator and will be a great asset to Havas Studios.”

Sanderson says: “The beauty of Havas Studios is that it was built from the ground up, without the legacy of outdated technology or ways of working – and there’s a real opportunity to build the most modern, efficient and creatively-driven global production agency in the market. Global demand for content-at-scale continues to grow unabated, and through organic growth of existing capabilities, new market launches, and acquisition, my role is to ensure Havas Studios continues to do likewise.”

Not that long ago agency production businesses were firmly below the salt, concentrating on print while high end TV production was handled elsewhere. But, as digital takes over the ad world, they now all have to compete for the billions of short order films on YouTube, TikTok and the like.

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