16 January 2018: Havas – the only truly integrated marketing and communications company in the UK – has announced that Xavier Rees [pictured], CEO of creative agency Havas London, will also take charge of its specialist customer engagement and data agency, Havas helia, effective the end of this month.
This expanded remit for Rees – who, since joining Havas London in 2016, has seen the agency named an Agency of the Year runner-up by Campaign – comes following previous helia CEO Tash Whitmey’s appointment by longtime client Tesco to head up its Clubcard scheme as Loyalty and Membership Director.
Rees is one of a select group to have held senior positions across advertising, digital and direct marketing agencies – making him a natural choice to lead both Havas London and helia. The move is also testament to Havas’ unique Village structure and the closeness of the two agencies, which already work together on a number of shared clients including Heathrow, Heathrow Express, Unilever and GSK.
Chris Hirst, Chairman Havas UK and CEO Europe, says: “Havas London has seen a huge upturn in its trajectory since Xav and his team took over. Combined with his experience across a number of different specialisms, and the fact this appointment will encourage even greater integration between our agencies, I honestly can’t think of anyone better for the helia job.”
Rees adds: “The Havas helia story is a special one and I’m excited to help write its next chapter. We have entered a golden period for the discipline of customer engagement and no other agency has a better pedigree to help brands capitalise on this opportunity”.
Rees joined Havas as CEO of Havas London in March 2016, following six years as Group MD at adam&eveDDB. He has also worked for fellow creative agencies BBH and Grey, direct marketing agencies Targetbase Claydon Heeley, RMG Connect and Archibald Ingall Stretton, and digital agency Wunderman.
Havas is the only truly integrated marketing and communications company in the UK. Based in London’s Kings Cross, the group operates a unique ‘Village’ concept: 26 agencies – spanning disciplines including advertising, media, data and technology, social, digital, PR and sports and entertainment – all in one building, united under one leadership and with one P&L.
It is part of integrated media, content and communications group Vivendi, which also includes Universal Music Group, Canal+, Studiocanal, Gameloft and Dailymotion.
Havas helia is Havas UK’s specialist customer engagement and data agency. We fuse data, technology and creativity to connect people to brands in a meaningful way. We call this a Smarter Art.
We’re the only major UK agency in our field to share a single building with every other specialist business in our network, all under a single P&L. Sitting within the Havas Village in Kings Cross (HKX) affords us some clear advantages; none more so than our ability to build bespoke, multi-discipline teams around our clients, whatever their business need.
These are not teams that are together on paper alone, but teams physically, culturally, logistically and financially aligned. This set-up, alongside our partnership with Vivendi and companies including Universal Music Group, Canal+, Studiocanal and Gameloft, allows us to complement – not replicate – our specialisms.
We work with some of the largest, most influential and most ambitious brands in the world, including adidas, Tesco, Unilever, Diageo, Royal Mail, Volvo, GSK, Heathrow and GWR.