Havas Helia, the agency which has had more name changes than a serial female divorcee, has revamped its London management line-up on the back of a new business winning streak which left rival businesses in its wake.
As part of the changes, Havas London managing partner Dominique Bergantino has taken on the role of managing director of the CRM agency, reporting to Helia and Havas London chief executive Xavier Rees.
David Macmillan retains his role as MD of the Cirencester agency, which is understood to be the larger business.
Bergantino, who worked briefly at AIS London when Rees was there, has been at Havas London since last year. She joined following an eight-year spell at OgilvyOne, latterly as managing partner. Bergantino was also at Hicklin Slade & Partners (now Karmarama) for over five years.
The new top team also includes former Digitas head of CRM planning Lucy Halley, who joined Helia earlier this year as strategy director. She has been promoted to head of strategy, reporting to group chief strategy officer Mark Sinnock.
Bergantino and Halley are joined by executive creative director Stuart Peddie, who has been ECD since last year, following a spell as creative director at Havas London, and group head of data Ol Janus, who returned to the agency in 2017.
The overhaul follows a spate of new business wins, including accounts for Lloyds Banking Group, The Open University, Comparethemarket.com and Starbucks. Helia has also been appointed to work alongside Havas London on Britain’s Beer Alliance and the Department for Education.
Rees said: “It feels like Havas Helia has got its mojo back. Across our two sites in Havas’ King’s Cross Village and Cirencester, we’re one of the largest customer engagement agencies in the country – and now boast some of the largest and most ambitious clients in the industry to match.
“The addition of the brilliant Dominique and Lucy will ensure we keep that momentum going at what is a time of unprecedented opportunity for brands to engage with their customers in new, creative and genuinely meaningful ways.”
Havas Helia can trace its roots back to one of the pioneers of the UK direct marketing agency sector. Launched as Evans Hunt Scott in 1986 by David Evans, Terry Hunt and Ken Scott, the agency survived two financial crises in the early years, amid accusations of lavish spending by some chiefs.
As chairman, Hunt rescued the business twice and spearheaded it for nearly 25 years, overseeing the merger with Brann in 2002 to create EHS Brann. The agency then rebranded EHS Realtime, EHS 4D and Havas EHS before becoming Havas Helia in 2015.
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