MPG, Media Contacts Folded Into Havas Media Group


Havas is shuttering its MPG and Media Contacts monikers as client-facing brands, the firm confirmed Thursday. Those operations will be rebranded and folded into the newly created Havas Media Group.

The move follows by less than a week the departure of MPG global CEO Maria Luisa Francoli Plaza from the company. At the time, no reason was given for her leaving, but the agency now confirms that the departure was a result of the restructuring.

Lori Hiltz, who was promoted last September to North American CEO Havas Media, will continue in that role. She was also North American CEO of MPG but now drops that title. Previously, she had reported to Francoli Plaza. Now she reports to Dominique Delport, who has been appointed global managing director for the Havas Media Group. Previously, he was CEO of Havas Media France.

The rejiggering of the media operation is part of a broader Havas rebranding initiative that began last year when the company said it was consolidating its global brand identity under two primary entities: Havas Creative and Havas Media. As part of the creative rebranding effort, flagship agency Euro RSCG was renamed Havas Worldwide, now a unit of Havas Creative.

In some ways, the moves signal a re-bundling of disciplines to foster more effective integration in the digital age. Or at least a “moving together of our creative and media companies,” as Havas CEO David Jones put it last September when the broader company rebranding was announced. At that time, the company also hinted at changes to come on the media side, noting that its disparate media services brands — including MPG and Media Contacts — would receive a “new visual identity” in 2013.

On Thursday, the company cited a need to simplify its integration strategy as the reason for the media restructuring. Alfonso Rodes, Havas Media Group’s CEO, stated: “The explosion of digital media means that no one can afford to deliver a siloed approach to communications. This new media model integrates our digital expertise at the core of our organization, promoting greater agility between all our teams and disciplines.”

As part of the reorganization, the group has formed a new executive committee led by Rodes. Delport, in his new role, reports to Rodes and is in charge of the commercial activity for all countries and all Havas Media Group brands, strategy, new business, digital integration and intelligence.

Michel Sibony takes on the new role of managing all global planning and buying operations, as well as the group’s digital and specialist offers. Jordi Ustrell becomes the global head of back office operations and will oversee the global support services, such as IT, HR, legal and finance.

The rebranding takes effect Jan. 24.



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