SMU retains Havas for media and creative duties

Singapore Management University (SMU) has reappointed Havas Singapore as its media agency with an integrated creative scope, following a pitch. The appointment is for three years with an option to renew an additional year. Havas Singapore first won the account in 2016.

Jacqui Lim, Group CEO, Havas Singapore, said the reappointment is testament to Havas' long-standing relationship with SMU and efforts for continuous reinvention to stay ahead of the curve. "It is a huge honour for us to reappointed by SMU - a premier global university in Asia and a game-changer in the education vertical. Our approach to integration is client-centric at the core that enables us to align the right resources to a particular business challenge and we are confident that our multi-disciplinary way of working will add more meaning to SMU’s brand objectives and deepen the engagement it has with their consumers,” she added.

In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a spokesperson from Havas said it was reappointed as its integrated abilities  leveraging data, content, partnerships along with media and creative resulted in a thorough, synergised proposal. Additionally, the spokesperson added that the collaborative flair, energy and diligence of the team brought the pitch to life and reinforced SMU’s decision to stay with Havas.

Earlier last month, Havas Singapore was also handed the media duties for Yum Brand’s Pizza Hut and KFC. Leveraging the network’s integrated, multi-disciplinary capabilities, the team is responsible for data analytics, media strategy and planning for Pizza Hut and KFC Singapore across offline and online platforms. This appointment followed a closed-door pitch commissioned end October and is said to be fully operational from January 2021.

Havas' reappointment comes on the back of a strengthened leadership team built last year. At the start of 2020, the group promoted Jude Foo to general manager. 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 is 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.

Subsquently, Havas Media promoted its general manager Russell Lai to the role of managing director for its media operations. In his current position, Lai is responsible for leading integrated media solutions, strategic client management and new business for Havas and Arena Media. Lai joined Havas in 2015 as executive director and was promoted to general manager in 2018. His media planning and client management experience spans 19 years across a wide range of verticals such as FMCG, govt, telecommunications and financial services.

Most recently, Havas Group bagged several awards at MAKRETING-INTERACTIVE's Agency of the Year awards 2020. This was not Havas’ first time coming out on top in the media category, having won the gold award in 2019 as well. It also took home the gold in the specialist category and bronze in the PR category. In an exclusive interview, Havas' Lim said the agency's aim for 2021 is to build on its current success. It also wants to ensure that it continues to support its people by building a more cohesive and inclusive workplace, as well as its clients with added rigour leveraging its culture of ideas, innovation and meaningfulness.

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