Havas Names Schmetterer President

BOSTON — Havas today named Bob Schmetterer president and coo of the Paris-based agency holding company. He also remains chairman, ceo of the Euro RSCG worldwide agency network.

The position is new at Havas, one which a holding company representative called, “a formalization” of the way Schmetterer and Havas chairman, ceo Alain de Pouzilhac have worked together for the better part of a decade. Naming an American underscores the importance of that market, where Havas derives roughly 45% of its revenue, the representative said.

Havas’ ad revenue for North America is down 9% to $550 million in 2002 compared to the same period a year ago. Finding ways to reverse that trend will be a key focus for Schmetterer in his expanded role with the company, sources said.

Havas in November blamed the halt in MCI WorldCom advertising expenditures for a 6% decline in third-quarter revenue to approximately $445 million. At the same time, Havas reported revenue of approximately $1.47 billion for the first nine months of 2002, a decline of about 3.5% from the same period a year ago. In accordance with French reporting rules, Havas will not disclose net income until the fiscal year has ended.

Havas is also parent to the Arnold and Media Planning global agency networks.