Havas unveils group-wide Converged proposition

Havas unveils group-wide Converged proposition
Bolloré speaking in Cannes.
Cannes Lions 2024

Havas has launched a proposition across the entire holding group known as Converged to offer a more integrated approach to support brands.

Speaking at a Havas breakfast event during Cannes Lions on Tuesday, Yannick Bolloré, chairman and CEO of Havas, said: “This is the time to embrace radical change.”

Converged seeks to combine data, technology, AI, creativity, media, production, customer experience “and everything in communication”, with human and machine as “equal partners”. As Bolloré described it: “Supercharged by tech, data and AI, but we remain powered by humans.”

Importantly, Bolloré stressed that it is more than a strategy proposition, but an entire operating system. Converged has four pillars: Intelligence, Design, Activate and Measure.

Yannick dashboard
Bolloré demonstrating the new operating system


The first, Intelligence, is where “all disciplines come together to interrogate the growth opportunity”, according to Tamara Greene, managing director, global brands, at Havas Creative Network. It offers an in-depth view of various data sources to aid the creation of strategy that unlocks growth.

Greene called the Design element the “springboard for holistic solutions”, where Havas creates end-to-end campaign plans.

The Activate stage — “this is where the magic happens”, as Greene put it — involves the delivery of highly relevant messages that reach the right audiences at the right place at the right time.

Greene emphasised that the Measurement pillar isn’t about “rear-view analysis” — rather, it’s about real-time learning and continuous monitoring of ROI.

Converged already exists as an AI-powered media planning platform, but the latest iteration spans the whole holding company.

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The new, wider application of Converged has already been used for some clients, including KFC and Harman. It will be available across all Havas networks in the coming weeks.

According to Bolloré, Converged is fully inter-operable with clients’ systems and therefore is “fully transparent”, adding: “We don’t believe in walled gardens. We believe in open systems.”

More tech investment

Elsewhere, Bolloré provided two other key updates.

First, Havas has invested €600m in data, tech and AI over the past 10 years, since it created the “together” strategy by putting its country offices into “villages”.

To this end, Havas plans to accelerate investment in this area, committing to spend an annual €100m in data, tech and AI for four years to total €400m by 2027. Bolloré noted: “We need to be better with AI. But we need to be better than AI.”

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Secondly, Bolloré reaffirmed parent Vivendi’s plan to split up the company, with Havas being one such entity.

He said: “If this materialises, Havas will go back on the stock market as we were until 2017.” While Bolloré acknowledged that being a listed company will bring more pressure, he also pointed to “more financial means, more agility and ability to adapt”.

Havas will retain a “strong relationship” with Vivendi since the latter will remain a major shareholder, but it will be a transition from “sisterhood” to “cousinhood”.

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