Havas PR merges with US and Australasian agencies to form Red Havas

Havas PR in the UK is merging with counterparts in the US and Australia's Red Agency to create a new global network called Red Havas.

Red Havas inaugural CEO James Wright
Red Havas inaugural CEO James Wright

Havas PR UK, Havas PR North America and Australian PR group Red Agency have merged and rebranded as Red Havas.

Red Havas will provide earned, social, experiential, content and data capabilities. In the UK, the move unites Havas PR’s existing offices in Manchester and Edinburgh with a new London office under the Red Havas brand. In the UK, Havas also owns One Green Bean, Maitland and Havas SE Cake, which are unaffected by the move.

Globally, Red Havas will have offices in Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney), Indonesia (Jakarta), the Philippines (Manila), Singapore, Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City), the UK (London, Manchester and Edinburgh) and the United States (Pittsburgh, Phoenix, New England and New York City). There are plans to expand into Japan and South America within the next two years.

Red Agency is one of the most decorated PR and communications shops in Australia and South East Asia, winning more than 150 awards at major events, including Cannes Lions, Spikes Asia and PRWeek Awards.

The agency was previously led by James Wright (main image) for eight years, who is now the CEO of Havas PR in North America and global chair of the Havas PR Global Collective.

Wright is the inaugural CEO of Red Havas, while Red Havas UK is led by MD Nigel Hughes (pictured below). In other regions, Red Havas will be led by Sarah Trombetta in Australia, Kenny Yap in Singapore, Harry Tumengkol in Indonesia, Thoa Nguyen in Vietnam, and Charrise Vilchez in the Philippines.  

The 'merged media' model

Red Havas will operate a strategic model it calls ‘merged media’, which it said replicates the convergence of media consumption. This involves "blending traditional and digital publishing, content, social media and data in a way that they believe defines the future of PR as a category".

The rebrand and merger coincides with investments in data, content and bespoke insight tools, which will include listening and predictive analytics platforms that "will layer in a foretelling media capability not seen before within the industry".

"The guiding light of PR has always been to integrate brands’ or organisations’ stories into the daily conversations of the media ecosystem," Wright said.

"PR is one of the most powerful tools that brands can use to connect to audiences, but it’s essential that it integrates seamlessly across content types and sources and operates at the pace, and in the ways of today’s consumer.

"With content, social and predictive data at the core, we’ve built a model that merges all of the various media sources and essentially redefines the PR capability entirely."

UK boss Hughes said: "Whilst PR has always owned the earned and that we will continue, now we must earn the owned in the merged media world. That is the ambition of Red Havas."

Havas global CEO and chairman Yannick Bollore added: "Red Havas is a new, transformational and unmatched micro agency network that will help redefine PR and its value to clients. Along with the power of Havas Group and the world-class entertainment capabilities we have within Vivendi, the proposition of merged media becomes very interesting. We have big ambitions to develop and invest in this further."

The Havas PR Global Collective is estimated to have global revenues of about $200m (£156m) and 1,300 staff, according to PRWeek’s agency business report.

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