Yannick Bolloré
Jun 21, 2022

Yannick Bolloré: A culture of collaboration, not competition

Collaboration is one of the key foundations for creativity, not just with external partners but internally too, with different disciplines or regions working together to reach a common goal, Yannick Bolloré, chairman and CEO of Havas Group, says. This is the last essay in our series by global agency chiefs ahead of Cannes Lions.

Yannick Bolloré: A culture of collaboration, not competition

Collaboration has always been fundamental to creativity. Now more so than ever. Just look at what is happening in fashion, music, film and across all of culture (I’m particularly loving our great client Lacoste’s recent Minecraft collection).

I believe Havas to have the most collaborative culture of any major network, for two reasons that are unique to us.

First, the village model. Every single discipline under a single roof, yet only ever one agency in any discipline. This fosters a culture of collaboration, not inter-agency competition. This is even reflected in the way we organise the space in our various villages.

Furthermore, the creative leads of different agency brands are free to collaborate, unrestricted by any “charge-back” financial protocol. As a result, a collaborative culture has taken root, where they call on each other to dive into a pitch or client brief.

This is happening within Havas teams at a global level too. Creatives from our agencies in Paris, London and Seoul working together on the Aesop business. Teams in London and Boston winning the Randstad/Monster account together. And Havas people in New York and Germany who created the brilliant Staybl app that steadies screen images for people with Parkinson’s.

The second reason that sets us up for collaboration, and again sets us apart, is that Havas is part of an entertainment group. When your sister companies operate in music, gaming, publishing, film and TV, the culture of collaboration is everywhere.

This in turn has spawned Havas x Vivendi collaborations; Gameloft and Cake produced a mobile platform game for JD Sports; London agencies and Studio Canal brought out a short film for CALM. Jenny Hills from Universal Music sits on the UK creative council led by UK group chief creative officer Mark Whelan, which has led to several music projects. And it works both ways – Mark and Vicki Maguire (chief creative officer at Havas London) collaborated with Universal to create a new compilation brand “Hear Her Voice” featuring all-female artists.

The collaborative spirit also extends to external partners, showcased perfectly in the brilliant Undercover Avatar in Fortnite. The world’s most awarded campaign from Havas Sports & Entertainment Paris working with the in-house team at Epic. We have also formed a partnership with the unrivalled Unit9, with whom we are creating exciting metaverse properties for a number of clients that will materialise in the coming months.

I could not be more proud to see how our strategy is paying off, in the work that we create and the spirit of how we create it.


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