Havas global MD Dominique Delport on Vivendi, transparency & branded content: 'We absolutely need to be radical'

One of the key opportunities that will be opened up if the proposed tie-in between Havas and Vivendi does take place will be around the content marketing that the pair can collaborate on for advertisers, believes global managing director of Havas Group, Dominique Delport.

Speaking to The Drum while attending Dmexco, Delport spoke of his 10 years at Havas and four years also working with media company Vivendi, which he described as "a privilege" before talking about his view on the success of 'the village concept' within the creative group.

The Havas Village concept was built over a three-year-period to foster internal collaboration within Havas across a number of locations including, Paris, New York, Chicago and London, and was an early brainchild of chief executive Yannick Bollore and was lauded by Delport.

"When you bring in data scientists and journalists and storytellers and creative people with media planners and people who look at consumer insights; it creates that is different from a very siloed world. As we need to be more agile, more lean, move faster – that is super future proofed. That is why there was so much enthusiasm for the village project and now, more and more we see integrated pitches. Clients now don't want to split the world with creativity on one side and media on the other side because now consumer journeys are content journeys," Delport stated.

"Content sits in the middle, data sits in the middle. If you are a media guy, maybe data will be more media data, consumer data – when you are a creative, it's more customer relationship management data historically speaking – the same for content. Advertising content is very different from non-advertising content; long-form, short-form and so on. We brought everyone around this kind of connected villages and it has been a huge success with tremendous organic growth for Havas."

He added: "On the Vivendi-side, the Havas opportunity is brilliant as so many transformational projects are happening with the biggest brands in the world that we can apply all these learnings to a leading entertainment company."

Delport went on to discuss the importance of mobile becoming 'the first screen' for advertisers, stating his belief that people will use a small number of apps on their phone rather than 'hundreds' of apps due to the time constraints modern users face.

"You need to always try to disrupt yourself and this is how we reinvent the client-centric solutions," he continued and predicted that the media sector was set to face a period of consolidation. "We saw that with AT&T and Time Warner...Telcos are understanding that advertising is a $600bn business which might be interesting for them, the same way that the big digital players are looking at the big TV budgets and for agencies there is a need for better understanding content marketing and the entertainment world."

Of branded content, he claimed that it was an opportunity for brands to gain attention or drive emotion; "They know content and artist talent, gaming, TV series – they will have a way to bring more emotion into that trade off; I will give you that data but please entertain me. Content is the glue for data but moreover we can help Vivendi deliver better experiences for their talent and their artists. When you are a super fan you are ready to live crazy experiences for your passion or whatever it costs. Today there are so many things that can be created and invented that just don't exist and we have already so many ideas and profiles of all these digital or physical experiences that we can mash up and try to propose to the super-fan.

"I am confident that creating the unknown is more exciting than protecting the old ways of making and creating revenue streams. The industry will change and we need to change and fix the issue that we have seen in the broken ad value chain or the fraudulent inventory or the transparency issues with clients. We absolutely need to be radical. Zero tolerance is not a box – we know that always we need to be cautious along the way."

More of Delport's views on content and the Havas-Vivendi deal can be heard in the video above.

Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze, Richard Curtis and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

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