Havas Opens Multicultural Agency Totality in New York

Leo Olper and Mauricio Galvan, Hired Last Year to Run Euro Latino, Will Lead Effort

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(From l.) Reginald Osborne, Mauricio Galvan, Alicia De Armas and Leo Olper
(From l.) Reginald Osborne, Mauricio Galvan, Alicia De Armas and Leo Olper

Havas is setting up a multicultural agency called Totality that combines the group's former small Hispanic unit Euro RSCG Latino with an African-American capability, and will draw on MPG Diversity for multicultural media planning and buying.

The new unit will be headed by CEO Leo Olper and Mauricio Galvan, chief creative officer, who joined Havas in April 2010 to build a Hispanic offering for Havas agencies that have been slow to get off the ground. Eighteen months later, Havas is going for a broader multicultural effort instead.

Totality will also include Reginald Osborne, charged with spearheading African-American and LGBT initiatives. Mr. Osborne will keep his current job as senior VP, director of multicultural marketing at Arnold Worldwide, where he leads multicultural efforts for McDonald's.

The new unit has moved to Arnold 's New York office and will report to Andrew Benett, Arnold 's global CEO and global chief strategy officer of Havas Worldwide, the agency arm of Havas. Euro Latino was based at Euro RSCG's New York office and reported to Ron Bess, the Chicago-based president of Euro RSCG North America, doing small assignments such as the Latin America work for Chivas and U.S. Hispanic projects for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Heathcare's Scott's Emulsion, a brand of cod-liver oil.

"Now we can offer clients a true total market approach," Mr. Olper said. "We're coming to [other Havas] agencies with a more competitive package they can take to their clients."

About 25 people, some of them based at other Havas agencies including Euro RSCG, Arnold and MPG, will work with Totality, and Havas has identified another 50 people who are knowledgeable about multicultural. The company did a survey to find staffers at Havas agencies who have multicultural experience and could be tapped for help, finding people such as Laura Semple, a Boston-based exec who works on McDonald's and Progressive business but previously spent 10 years at Saatchi & Saatchi's U.S. Hispanic agency Conill as a planner.

"We'll bring what's right for the client," Mr. Olper said. "Often that 's very specific. Or if the general market strategy works, we'll be the first to say this works for our market, too. The analogy is , instead of a melting pot, it's more like a salad. All the ingredients in one serving or you can have the tomato all by itself. We can be everything for one client or we can be separate things."

Embedding a multicultural unit that can work closely with the general market agency is becoming a more common approach. At an Advertising Week multicultural panel called "Culture -- the New Creative Brief," Kraft's Kim Bealle described hiring Ogilvy Rojo, a Hispanic capability within Ogilvy, for the Kool-Aid brand. Ms. Bealle, Kraft's senior director, consumer marketing group, said Ogilvy promised to "put together a team to work across Kool-Aid and refreshment brands that has the Hispanic perspective baked right in." She said Joan Dufresne, Ogilvy's senior partner/group planning director, has a Hispanic planning partner, the creative director has a partner in Mexico City, and the team leader has experience in both the Hispanic and general market.

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