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Havas retains media agency-of-record status with Changi Airport following pitch

Changi Airport Group has re-appointed Havas Group Singapore as its media agency-of-record for another two-year contract, following a multi-agency pitch.  

It means Havas will handle the group’s traditional media planning and buying, as well as supporting the brand’s digital media strategy. These duties have been handled by Havas since 2015. 

Mumbrella understands that the Publicis agency Zenith and the IPG agency UM also pitched for the account, but Havas was favoured by the client.

Tan is sticking with Havas

“Havas Media’s consistency in understanding our business with a focus on incisive data-driven consumer insights and actionable media plans, influenced the decision,” said Changi Airport group senior vice president of corporate and marketing communications Ivan Tan.

“We look forward to our continued partnership with Havas Media to reinforce our brand presence in Singapore.”

Lim of Havas is ‘honoured’ to retain media agency AOR status

Meanwhile, Havas Group Singapore CEO Jacqui Lim added: “We are extremely honoured to have been re-appointed as the media agency of record for a local icon such as Changi Airport Group. 

“Havas Media has a proven track record in creating meaningful media experiences via data and tech and we look forward to bringing this partnership to greater heights.”

Tan was previously deputy managing director at Weber Shandwick and so has seen the agency perspective before working client-side at Singtel and Changi.

Speaking at the Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit in Singapore in May, he was asked what he saw as the key to effective agency-client relationships.

Tan chats with Mumbrella’s Dean Carroll at the Travel Marketing Summit in May

“The two sides need to understand each other better,” he replied. “That’s why I do value hiring people from the agency side to come in-house. They’ve then seen both perspectives. Agencies are businesses that need to earn revenue so we have to respect that and allow the account to be profitable.

“However, too often agencies are focused on the top line. You have to think about your operating expenses as well. As an example, when I go into a meeting sometimes there are eight agency people; five of whom don’t even speak a word during the meeting and yet they are clocking all these hours on the timesheet. When I see that, I am not surprised there is an issue with profitability.

“It’s not the best way of working. You have to help me manage costs and I’ll do my best to pay fair value for the work that you’ve done for us. As a client, I don’t expect that ideas are free. If you give a brief and you don’t execute the work for whatever reason the agency still deserves to be paid. There has to be an understanding of the dynamics in play from both sides.

“The bad behaviour from clients I’ve seen is the attitude ‘well, the agency is on a retainer so I want an unlimited number of ideas. It can’t work like that. You just create an environment where there is constant churn. Then you move from one agency to another and then agencies find it hard to keep people.”

Changi is said to be the world’s seventh busiest airport for international traffic, recording 65.6 million passenger movements in 2018. With more than 100 airlines connecting Singapore to 400 cities worldwide, Changi Airport handles about 7,400 flights every week – or about one every 80 seconds.

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