Havas Shuffles Media Ops

NEW YORK Havas has created a new corporate entity for its media-services agencies.

The Barcelona, Spain-based unit has been dubbed Havas Media and it will be led by CEO Alfonso Rodés Vila, who in July was named chief executive of Havas’ global media agency network, MPG.

MPG will now be grouped within Havas Media along with shops such as Arena, which provides specialized communications services; B6 Integrated Entertainment; Havas Sports; and the Media Contacts online and digital network. Maria Luisa Francoli, previously chief executive at Havas’ Media Planning Network, takes over as CEO of MPG.

Those operations, which continue under their current name, had previously reported through MPG’s corporate structure.

“This move demonstrates Havas’ continued commitment and support to the media expertise within the Group,” said Rodés Vila, in a statement.

“Ultimately, it’s about adopting a simple yet dynamic structure that will allow us to relate to our clients with flexibility and speed so that we can leverage the revolution in the media environment,” he added.

Rodés Vila’s promotion at MPG in July followed the March elevation of his brother Fernando to CEO of Paris-based Havas. Alfonso Rodés had previously been chief corporate development officer at MPG.

The Rodés family is the third-largest investor in Havas and cast a key vote in support of last year’s coup by Vincent Bolloré to gain control of the company. Bolloré is now Havas chairman.

Bolloré has expressed his desire to unite Havas’ media operations with those of London-based Aegis Group, parent of the Carat, Isobar and Vizeum agency networks. Bolloré is also a major Aegis shareholder and is in the midst of a protracted struggle to gain representation on the U.K. company’s board [Adweek Online, Oct. 2].

Havas’ key media clients include Danone, ExxonMobil, Goodyear Dunlop and Masterfoods.

This story updates an earlier item with the news that Maria Luisa Francoli takes over as CEO of MPG.