Havas Group Singapore elevates Jude Foo to GM

Havas Group Singapore has promoted Jude Foo (pictured) to general manager, shortly after Joseph Chua exited to join Aiken Digital. Foo first joined Havas in 2018 as director of client services. His appointment then followed a management restructure to bring together creative, media, digital and public relations under the Havas Village umbrella. Foo's remit will be to cover the creative side of the business with a focus on client service, strategic thinking, innovation and effectiveness, leveraging the integrated capabilities of Havas Group Singapore.

Speaking exclusively to Marketing, Foo said his overall vision in 2020 is to strengthen the agency's creative product and inculcate a sense of pride for the talent and clients who work with the agency. However, he was quick to add that one of the biggest issues plaguing the creative scene is lack of talent. According to Foo, finding the right talent, nurturing and most importantly retaining them is not an easy feat.

With close to a decade of experience in the adland, Foo explained that the profile of creative agencies have changed significantly in the last few years. "It is no longer the bastion of global agencies as local, independent agencies are flourishing, ultimately adding to the vibrancy of the market," he said, adding:

Being successful in today’s landscape is about agility and being nimble, and less about scale.

Recently, Havas also bolstered its creative team with new hires. Previously from GOVT, Arh Chun Ngai joined Havas as creative director, adding to the creative talent pool comprising of existing creative directors Jared Kang and Alexander Lim. In addition, former content specialist at FALCON Genevieve Tan has also been hired as a copywriter to add more depth and expertise to Havas' creative cluster.

Jacqui Lim, group CEO of Havas Singapore said that as Havas, its multi-disciplinary approach is embodied in the Village structure, where teams can work side by side as often as clients need them to. "This integrated approach has complemented our creative product and allowed us to be outcome-focused and responsive to our client’s needs. For example, the creative brief today is more than just a piece of TVC and it is about embracing digital, social and performance -essentially work that is backed by ideation and creativity. That is where the value of our integrated approach lies," she added.

Foo was previously with independent creative agency GOVT as business director for two years. He was tasked to lead the growth and integration of the agency’s account management, planning, digital and social capabilities. In addition, he led senior counsel to the agency’s key clients in National Gallery Singapore, Mini Asia, General Mills Southeast Asia and Nestlé.

Prior to that, Foo worked at JWT Singapore as the lead on the Changi Airport Group account, while also managing the FMCG portfolio – Pizza Hut, Bayer, Schick, Fraser & Neave, alongside HSBC Bank. He first started his career at Ogilvy Singapore, working on clients such as Coca-Cola, Health Promotion Board and Danone-Dumex portfolios before moving on to Tribal DDB to work on the DBS business. He eventually headed up the DBS Group strategic and marketing communications (GSMC) portfolio in DDB.

Recently, Havas Group Singapore simplified the lines of its management system for its media and creative leadership teams to be more directly connected to the local APAC markets teams. This saw APAC CEO Mike Amour step down from his regional role and leave the company. Amour was elevated to APAC CEO in October 2017 after the agency consolidated its creative and media divisions.

Separately in July 2019, Valerie Madon, chief creative officer Southeast Asia and chairwoman of Havas Group Singapore stepped down from her role. Madon now helms the chief creative officer, Asia at VMLY&R, and part of VMLY&R’s Global Creative Council, led by global chief creative officer Debbi Vandeven.