Havas takes Australian PR agency brand Red to Singapore

Havas has launched its Australian PR agency brand Red Agency in Singapore, with the agency set to be staffed locally by personnel from Havas’ existing agency brand in Singapore, Siren, led by Allanjit Singh as managing director.

James and Allanjit_2

Allanjit Singh and James Wright: “It’s not about simply rebranding and putting a new badge on the door”

Singapore marks Red Agency’s fourth office, adding to branches in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, with the new Red office joining Havas’ media and creative agencies in the integrated communications unit known as the Havas Village, and serving as “glue” to bring those operations closer together in Singapore.

Led by James Wright, who was promoted from Australia head of Red to APAC lead for Havas PR in 2013, Red Agency differentiates itself as a social media and content led business that creates “deliberately shareable” campaigns.

Red has been consistently recognised at various awards shows in Australia and around the region, and competes regularly with agencies from other disciplines, including creative, in pitches because of the breadth of its services.

“For us, it’s absolutely not about simply rebranding and putting a new badge on the door. For the past few months we’ve worked on training staff and giving the background and the philosophy on how we work,” said Wright.

“We want to bring that Australian ideation approach to the Singapore market, but with a local spin. Of course there are nuances here that we need to be aware of. But over time, we hope to see more of the sort of work we’ve been doing in Australia coming out in Singapore.”

The new offering will tap into Red Agency’s brand experience arm Red Guerilla, and social strategy unit #RedSocial.

Wright said that the Havas Village in Australia is probably the best example, globally, of where the integrated model works so fluidly, and he hopes to bring that level of integration to Singapore with the help of Red.Red Guerilla

“Between myself, Anthony [Gregorio, Havas Worldwide Australia’s CEO] and Mike [Wilson, who runs Havas Media Australia], every decision we make is on behalf of the village. We socialise together, we have meetings together, we share our expertise and knowledge – and that means that we don’t draw lines when borrowing resource.”

Red’s main areas of expertise is in social media and content, both disciplines that Havas’ media and creative agencies also use, so there will be a lot more reason for the three disciplines to work closer together.

Wright said that PR “often acts as the glue between the media and creative agency. PR works with both a lot more than the media and creative agencies work together, simply because of procurement issues from a client perspective.”

Red, which starts life in Singapore with 20 staff and clients including Sony, Brocade, Sophos, TD Ameritrade, Tokio Marine, Sanofi-Aventis and Air France-KLM, has been talking to four global brands about replicating what Red has done for them in Australia, in Asia, Wright said.

The agency takes its name from the hair colour of its founder Neil Travers, who launched the business in 2002. Five years later, the agency was acquired by the agency formerly known as Euro RSCG, now Havas Worldwide.

The launch of Red means the end of the Siren brand in Singapore. Siren was launched in 2010 by Karen Flynn, who sold her business to Havas the following year. Flynn left the group at the start of the year.


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