Havas Layoffs 2023: reason behind why they cut jobs

Around 200 employees were fired in the U.S.U.S. and an unknown number in the U.K.U.K. in July 2020, according to Havas. The company owns Havas Creative, Arnold, and Havas Health and You advertising agencies. Due to a slower-than-anticipated recovery from the coronavirus epidemic, clients reduced their expenditures, which led to the cuts. There were no recent layoffs in this business reported in the media. Over 17,000 individuals are employed by Havas in 100 different countries.

The French global advertising and public relations firm Havas SA is based in Paris. It is one of the world’s most extensive advertising and communications firms. Havas thinks that businesses can play a significant role in solving the world’s greatest challenges today. They work hard daily to conduct themselves responsibly for themselves and their stakeholders. Let us view the business briefly in this article.

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Overview of Havas

Three business units make up Havas: Havas Media Network, Havas Creative Network, and Havas Health & You. 

The creative business area consists of the following:

  • the Havas Creative worldwide network,
  • the specialized customer experience network,
  • Havas CX,
  • the Havas Edge global performance marketing network,
  • B.E.T.C. Group, and
  • H/Advisors.

In addition, the unit includes several of the most talented and innovative firms in the sector. This includes Arnold, Buzzman, Camp + King, Conran Design Group, Host Havas, Battery, ROSA PARIS, Gate One, W&Cie, and B.L.K.J. Havas.

Havas Media Network has more than 9,000 employees spread over 150 countries. It is made up of two international networks. They are Havas Media and Arena Media.

At Havas, it is their job to design the ideal media experience, utilizing the most significant medium to develop more significant brands. H.M.G. assists brands in connecting with the most engaged audiences and inspiring customers. This is to take action by grasping the media platforms and, most important, events.

Havas Health & You uses a global network of specialists and people to make a positive difference in patients’ lives. Havas Health & You is motivated by a human mission. It is committed to improving humanity through health.

Among the global network’s key entities Havas Life, Health4Brands (H4B), Havas Lynx, Red Havas, H.H.C.X., and several specialty businesses worldwide. It has over 6,000 leading experts spread across more than 70 countries.

Havas Underwent a Round of Layoffs in 2020

Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on business, Havas underwent a round of layoffs across all of its U.S.U.S. agencies in July 2020. According to a person familiar with Havas’ operations, this includes Havas Media, Arnold, and other offices in New York, Boston, and Chicago. Two hundred employees across the U.S.U.S. offices were affected.

“Covid-19 had a major effect on many of our clients, varying widely depending on the industry and location. According to their client portfolio, certain of our agencies are therefore affected. While we expect a rebound for both our clients and, thus, our industry, it does not appear to be a V-shaped curve. Undoubtedly, it will take longer than planned. Sadly, this has led to job cuts at agencies with the most severely affected clients.” This is according to a statement from a Havas spokesperson.

“Any business would find such choices to be difficult. Since they were unavoidable and were not our beloved employees’ fault, we all prayed they wouldn’t be made. Through this, we’re dedicated to treating any affected employees with the respect and regard they merit, and we thank them for their effort. We will do everything we can to support them as they move into their next chapter,” a spokesperson said.

“Even though reaching this moment is very sad for all of our agencies, we are very optimistic about the future,” he added.

According to the source, previous cost-cutting initiatives included drastic cuts in discretionary and freelance spending and salary reductions that varied by agency. Havas was able to delay the layoffs. It’s because of the nature of its ownership model with Vivendi. It did so, believing it could avoid such job losses and be well prepared for recovery.

Havas’ healthcare business was less affected

Owned by the French multinational Vivendi, Havas has been able to delay layoffs until after publicly traded holding firms like Omnicom and Publicis have reduced their salaries to avoid or reduce discharges.

On July 7, 2020, Harry Bernstein, the chief creative officer of Havas, informed the workforce at the company’s New York headquarters of the news. He stated that it was “a hard day for everybody here,” according to a person with direct knowledge.

According to sources, some Havas agencies were less affected by the layoffs than other Havas agencies. This includes Havas Health and You, which develops campaigns for customers in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

Despite the pandemic, healthcare advertising spending has mainly remained stable. In that industry, Omnicom experienced organic growth of 9.6% in the first quarter of 2020.

Havas purchases the majority of the creative agency Uncommon

Havas’ acquisition of the innovative firm shows the media company’s continuous dedication to creativity.

The London-based creative agency Uncommon has been bought by advertising major Havas for 51 percent in an all-cash deal. It is valued at over 100 million British pounds, or roughly USD 129 million.

The founders of Uncommon, Natalie Graeme, Lucy Jameson, and Nils Leonard, will continue to own the remaining 49 percent of the company and run it separately from Havas, owned by the Paris-based holding company Vivendi. As a result of the agreement, Uncommon will launch a location in New York shortly, according to the businesses.

The Uncommon founders will continue to have a significant financial stake in the company. They will be able to choose their clients while expanding and exchanging best practices with Havas and its parent company, Vivendi. Along with its flagship, Havas London, the acquisition signals Havas’ aim to continue expanding its position in the U.KU.K.

The agreement will allow the studio to broaden its creative network in the U.SU.S. It will also enhance and speed up Uncommon’s impressive portfolio of significant U.S.U.S. clients.

One hundred sixty people work full-time for Uncommon. According to the agency, there won’t be any layoffs due to the agreement. Also, Uncommon will hire staff to work at its New York location.

Launch of Havas People in India by Havas Group

The launch of Havas People, a subsidiary that specializes in employer branding, in India has been announced by Havas Group India. Arindam Sengupta, chief growth officer at Havas Creative India, will lead the division. At Havas People, Sengupta assumes the position of managing director. Currently, the agency has offices in the UK, Sydney, New York, and Chicago in the U.S.A.

The media spoke with Sengupta and Rupert Grose, C.E.O. of Havas People, to learn more about the options.

“Has any of your clientele recently let go of staff as well? If so, would Havas People also be affected? How has the organization handled this?” When asked this question, they answered as follows:

There are many different industries experiencing layoffs. It may or may not affect what we are doing. Around it, we need to work on communicating. In response to your query, some of our clients recently made layoffs. In terms of corporate communication, we would need to get more engaged.

The market is odd right now, and much has changed since COVID. Everything about the workstation has changed. The over-recruiting in the I.T.I.T. sector during the pandemic is to blame for the layoffs.

Many businesses we work with are outside the technology industry but still need talent. Our client’s concern is that techies don’t want to work with clients, not in the tech industry. They think working for something other than an FMCG company is astounding. Our role is to promote that excellent work can be done at these kinds of businesses.


Rupert Grose, C.E.O. of Havas People, said, “Finding tech talent two years ago was a genuine issue. Although there is more skill now, there isn’t enough qualified tech talent available everywhere.

“There are real challenges regarding what firms are attempting to do and the pool of workers available to do that work. Businesses are going through an unending amount of transformation. Certain employment-related economic issues worldwide exist, but this is wonderful for us. It’s because it allows us to develop new company narratives.”

“In the past, if there were a recession, no one would hire, which was disastrous for businesses like ours. Companies are no longer hiring, but they are still aware of how crucial it is to keep the employees they do have. We can help with that,” he stated.