Havas Culture


Senior Writer and Editor
Patricia Murphy joined Havas Group in October 2019 as a Senior Editor and Writer. She has a background in digital journalism and content creation.

Here, Brad Jansen, Managing Director of Havas Atlanta, Laura Maness, CEO of Havas New York, and Shane Ankeney, President of Havas Media New York, explore the unique culture of their agencies and chat about their commitment to building a collaborative and engaging workplace that makes a meaningful difference to brands, businesses, and people. 

Brad Jansen, Managing Director, Havas Atlanta 

What is it about the culture at Havas Atlanta that makes it unique? 

We are a culture that stands for something, which is standing for something. We believe that being meaningful starts and ends with diversity of thought and we seek multi-hyphenated talent. To us, that’s the base on which to create a culture that’s relevant. To foster this, we don’t just have an office. We are a destination for collaboration with the community we live in, enabling us to stay connected as active contributors of culture. Of course, this destination shifted to Zoom in 2020, but the approach did not shift. 

What are the agency’s CSR goals and commitments in the areas of diversity and inclusion in 2021? 

Our goal has always been to make sure our employees represent the diversity of our city. We have recently pledged to help the advertising and marketing industry of Atlanta match their teams’ diversity to that of the city of Atlanta by 2030. 

In response to the racial injustices across the United States, Havas Atlanta created a DEI program called Annex Aware. Annex Aware serves as a tool to empower our people to help serve the surrounding Atlanta communities. Annex Aware allows our people to take action and use the full breadth of agency resources to support underserved communities. Our mission is to leverage the full power of our agency to empower underserved communities. 

How does the culture and the city of Atlanta influence the agency’s work? 

Atlanta is the gateway to the South. Since planting our roots in Atlanta over five years ago, we have made it our mission to celebrate the culture, support the creators and provide our community partners with a platform to share Atlanta with the world.  

Whether we are hosting a local artist’s first visual showcase, AT&T’s 404 day, a safe place for the LGBTQ+ community or Jeezy’s monthly local performer competition, we have always shown Atlanta creators that the Annex Bookstore is theirs to spread their messages. 

Havas Atlanta is housed in a historical landmark! What’s your favourite thing about the office? 

Our office was once the Bookstore to the neighbouring university, Georgia Tech. Once the city of Atlanta made the building into a historical landmark, we knew it was the perfect place to call home for Havas Atlanta. The team’s favourite thing about the Atlanta office is that it was designed for collaboration.  

Laura Maness, CEO of Havas New York, and Shane Ankeney, President, Havas Media New York

What does recognition in AdAge’s Best Places to Work mean for Havas New York?  

Laura Maness: Receiving this recognition for a second time is incredible, particularly after the challenging year we all faced. Of all the industry accolades, this one is the most meaningful to me because it represents the voice of our employees; it measures company culture, company environment, employee benefits, employee development, employee engagement and employee perks. I’m so proud of the culture of caring and collaboration we’ve created, and the future of work we’re shaping together. Best “People” To Work With, without a doubt.

What makes the culture at Havas New York unique?  

Shane Ankeney: New York as a city is incredibly unique – its energy is unparalleled, and I think that translates into our culture at HXC.  It’s a culture of creativity and collaboration where our Village model really comes to life. We know that good ideas can come from anywhere. We don’t have physical offices. Everyone’s door is always open, everyone’s voice is heard, and new ideas are always welcomed. We make it a goal to work as cohesively as possible, which is most evident in programs like Creative Consciousness, and the SAGE mentorships program. We may be the biggest North American office, but we still operate as a family! 

Can you tell us about some of the agency’s most exciting projects in 2020?  

SA: Some of the initiatives that I’m most excited about from the agency is the work we’re doing with our Social Equity Marketplace. It’s incredible to see how our clients are responding and demonstrating a desire to support and invest into the initiative, reflecting the wider acknowledgement that more must be done in all areas of social equality. We’re also the first holding company to join the Conscious Ad Network that reinforces our work with social equity and our other DE&I initiatives.

LM: I’m thrilled and energised to be focused on Havas New York’s journey as one of the first major agencies in the U.S. to become a certified B-Corporation, placing an equal balance on people, planet and profit. Coming out of being confined to our homes, we’re looking to harness people’s collective energy toward caring for our “Common Home” and prioritising the biggest stakeholder of all: our planet. The B-Corp commitment is a continuous improvement framework to build an inclusive and sustainable economy that works for everyone. And more than anything, it telegraphs our values to attract the caliber of talent and clients we want to surround ourselves with—people and companies that are committed to using business as a force for good.

What is your favourite thing about HXC?  

LM: I love the spirit of generosity that runs through our HXC Village daily. We’ve been on a journey of raising consciousness, cultivating community and celebrating creativity for a few years. From thoughtful, inspiring programming to offering continuous opportunities for personal and professional growth, HXC has quickly pivoted from a physical destination to an always-on promise of building more meaningful brands and building better human beings simultaneously—wherever we are. Together is a mindset.

SA: Without question, walking into the office and seeing our incredible receptionist, Pat. Even while working from home she brings a smile and her infinite wisdom to our inboxes every single day. 

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