NEW YORK: Havas PR has launched a network called Red Havas, comprised of offices in North America, the U.K. and Asia-Pacific. It will specialize in earned, social, experiential and content.
The network will include Havas PR offices in New York City, New England, Phoenix and Pittsburgh in the U.S.; Manchester, Edinburgh and London in the U.K.; and Vietnam and Jakarta in Asia. It will also incorporate Red Agency offices in Australia, Singapore and the Philippines. Havas PR will also be rebranded as Red Havas.
The agency hinted at "expansion plans" in Japan and South America within 18 to 24 months in a statement on the reorganization.
Havas has no plans to move other PR brands into similar networks, said Havas PR North America CEO James Wright, who is overseeing Red Agency as global chairman of the Havas PR Global Collective and global CEO of Red Havas
"We’ve got nearly 40 offices around the world, and we’re obviously looking at how to bring that all together," he said. "This micro-network is focusing on our strategic model, what we call ‘merged media,’ and bringing together our content, social media and data capabilities across those agencies to create greater value for our clients."
Red Havas U.K. is led by MD Nigel Hughes; Sarah Trombetta is CEO of Red Havas Australia; Red Havas Singapore is led by GM Kenny Yap; and Charisse Vilchez is managing Red Havas Philippines.
A spokesperson declined to say how the reorganization will affect Havas PR’s P&L structure.
The Red Havas "micro network" will play a critical role in unlocking growth in the U.S., Wright said. Wright, who became Havas PR CEO for North America and global chairman of the Havas PR Collective in July 2018, has ambitious growth plans in the U.S.
"It’s a very strategic market for us, and the reality is we could be a lot bigger here," he added.
The group is eyeing opportunities to expand on the West Coast and in the Midwest, possibly by acquisition, Wright said. The agency is in talks with agencies, but Wright declined to name them or say how far talks have progressed.
Havas has a legacy of earned media, but owned media has the greatest potential for growth, so the network will have to build owned, social and data analytics capabilities, Wright said.
"We own the earned, but we want to earn the owned," Wright said.
Wright, EVP Linda Descano and Davitha Ghiassi, EVP of social and integration, are leading efforts to build Havas’ AI and predictive analytics tools.
Wright said Havas has no plans to rebrand its specialist agencies, such as those in financial and healthcare PR. Formula, Republica Havas, One Green Bean and Havas SO are not part of Red Havas.
Havas acquired a 51% stake in Baltic Communications Group in January, creating Havas Baltics. Last September, it also acquired an undisclosed stake in Miami-based Republica before rebranding it as Republica Havas.
Havas PR’s revenue dropped by 9% last year to $200 million. That number did not include revenue from Havas Formula, which posted a 12% revenue increase to $22.3 million.
This story was updated on May 16 with additional information.