Category Archives: Agency Life

The story of Havas Lynx

30TH Birthday

This week officially marks the 30th year for Havas Lynx, so in the spirit of all things Lynx, we’re taking this opportunity to revisit the archives to see how we’ve gone from a team of two to become a powerful global healthcare communications agency with offices in Manchester, London and New York.

1986 – 1999

When we opened our doors as Creative Link, our aim was to work with clients who could bring about ‘positive social change’. Before three years were up, we’d won our first Pharmaceutical Marketing Award for our work with Rheumox, marking the beginning of our successful path in pharmaceuticals. The win was followed by a challenging pitch for Aricept, the first Alzheimer’s disease treatment. For patients and carers, this was the first glimpse of hope and the potential of a better outcome. Winning the pitch, we launched what became the world’s gold-standard treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

During the ‘90s, we also worked for our home city, branding and launching Manchester Arena; acting as sole creative agency for Manchester’s 2002 Commonwealth Games bid and designing the book: ‘Manchester – A Celebration’, part of the 1996 Olympic bid.

Remaining committed to our city, when the IRA bomb struck in 1996; the British Government and Manchester City Council enlisted us (now named Creative Lynx) to create the briefing package for the rebuilding and re-planning of Manchester city centre. We launched the package worldwide and Manchester came back, alive and kicking.

2000 – 2008

Whilst the ‘80s and ‘90s were time to build our business and reputation, the ‘00s were definitely time to build the team. We recruited four future directors and gained one of our biggest and longest-term clients who would contribute to the new shape of the agency; at the forefront of pharma.

In 2008, we found our new home in Princess Street; our founder, Stuart Wilson, stood down after 22 years at the helm, and the Senior Leadership Team as you know it today, stepped up. The year after, we were appointed to the London 2012 Olympic design and artwork rosters, the only Northwest agency from 13,000 others.

2009 – 2016

The last seven years have been some of the most instrumental in Lynx’s development and in 2012, we merged with Havas Worldwide and opened up our first offices in New York and London; our new name, Havas Lynx.

Externally, our work has had a profound impact on patients, healthcare professionals and the wider industry. Highlights include, our award winning work for JHI which has been clinically proven to reduce hospital referral by 58%. Our EGFR disease awareness campaign, which shaped national guidelines, and ensured patients received the correct medication at the correct time. And a series of industry firsts, from our pioneering CLM iPad eDetail Aid in China, to our breakthrough work in social media, and our globally recognised smart phone apps.

Internally, our focus has remained on building and retaining our culture #LYNXLife. As we continue to grow, it is our people that are key to our success. We significantly invest in our team to ensure they are equipped with all the tools they need to deliver exceptional scientific, strategic, creative, and innovative campaigns that truly make a difference. In 2014, we launched the unparalleled #LXAcademy, an internal training programme, to share knowledge, provide inspiration and develop our next generation of talented leaders. We also transferred our motto of #helpfulchange outside of healthcare by supporting the charity Born To Thrive. Rising over £30,000 for the charity and helping to send 43 children to school, and build three new classrooms to enable the children to finish their primary education.

All of this activity has seen us win many awards (totalling 72 so far) including one of our greatest accolades yet, Havas Agency of the Year and most recently PMGroup Communiqué Communications Consultancy of the Year.

 

Havas Lynx pushes the boundaries of creative healthcare with new recruits

Havas Lynx, the leading global healthcare communications agency, and communiqué communications consultancy of the year has further bolstered its ranks with a string of high-profile recruits including three new award-winning creative directors. This expansion of the creative team follows on from the appointment of Tom Richards as Chief Creative Officer in April 2015.

Since Richards’ appointment, the Havas Lynx group has significantly invested in its creative talent, building on their un-paralleled expertise of science, strategy and technology. In the past nine months, it’s taken on 24 new creatives, bringing Havas Lynx’s creative team to over 70 people; making it one of the biggest creative healthcare departments in Europe.

The agency has also refurbished its workplace with an enviable new creative space that has already been used by global industry association, D&AD, for its New Blood Mixer.

As part of the creative growth, Havas Lynx has appointed three seasoned Creative Directors from non-healthcare backgrounds to oversee the delivery of high-calibre campaigns and ensure Havas Lynx’s creative output sets a new standard for the industry. It welcomes Paul Kinsella, Lou Shipley and Phil Howells.

Paul Kinsella brings over 13 years’ experience from working in agencies such as Euro RSCG WNEK Gosper, Cheetham Bell JWT and BJL. He is known for ideas, insights and creativity and is excited about the opportunity to work in healthcare. In his last three years alone, his innovative designs and concepts have won over 30 awards from ceremonies including Campaign, Kinsale Sharks, Roses, DADi and Fresh. Most recently, he gained recognition for his work on Whyte & Mackay’s whisky which featured in Campaign’s top ads of 2015.

Lou Shipley brings over 19 years’ conceptual copywriting experience from several integrated advertising agencies including the likes of McCanns, Tequila TBWA, Rapier and Ogilvy. Lou’s varied portfolio includes powerful and compelling campaigns for Cancer Research UK, Save the Children and Alzheimer’s Society. Lou is known for her creative versatility having worked across TV, print, direct marketing, digital and social platforms.

The agency also welcomes Phil Howells, a multi-award winning creative director with over 30 years’ advertising experience. Phil’s portfolio includes work on a variety of campaigns for household names including Sure, Dirt Devil, Shop Direct and John Lewis, alongside working as part of the team that launched Peperami’s famous “It’s a bit of an animal”. His work has received an impressive string of industry awards such as: D&AD, Campaign Poster, Midsummer, London Interactive, Chip Shop, Montreux, The Roses and The Northern Marketing Awards.

Phil commented on his new role at Havas Lynx:
‘I’ve already been lucky enough to work with Havas Lynx on a freelance basis. I like their hunger, passion and ambition and I’m particularly impressed with the way they treat their people. Being part of Tom’s vision to raise the creative bar, not only within Havas Lynx but across the sector, has reignited my passion to do great work and also to inspire it.’

Havas Lynx’s Chief Creative Officer, Tom Richards explained:
“Healthcare may not be known as a creative industry, but we’re determined to change that. It’s great to see so many high profile and brilliant creatives recognise this and join our mission. Our new appointments are evidence of a new and radical direction for healthcare. I’m excited to produce some life changing campaigns that will be born from some of the best scientific, strategic and creative minds in the business.”

Havas Lynx_Creative Directors

Getting Better.

2016 Ambition, by David Hunt

Havas Lynx, formerly Creative Lynx, celebrates its 30th anniversary this May. Of all its achievements, I believe the greatest is just that – 30 years of great people, producing great ideas that have great outcomes.

Whilst the whole world has changed, and changed again, Havas Lynx has remained a valuable, expert and trusted partner to its many clients & friends. I believe in culture, I believe in values and I believe in people, and certainly Havas Lynx is blessed with the very best of these, but in addition, I believe thatsustained success requires evolution and it requires balance.

“Havas Lynx are not just preparing for the future, they are creating it” is undoubtedly my favourite endorsement in 2015, from a very generous PME Judge.

Our reputation was forged upon our prowess in digital, and whilst this remains at our heart, our success since joining Havas is based on our scientific, strategic and creative development. And whilst we have been maturing, so too has digital. Of course, we are all aware of how it has changed our lifestyle, our behaviours and our society. But behind the agency curtain, there has been an equally significant shift – digital is no longer the “Dark Arts”, it is no longer the playground of engineers. It is now about insight, ideas, innovation. And not the sort that requires code, but the exciting sort that requires imagination. The democratization of technology is another catalyst for change at Havas Lynx, and one that we are embracing as we enter 2016.

There is always a risk that you can stretch too far, ask too much of yourself & those around you, perhaps try that little bit too hard. In 2015 we were named Communiqué Communications Consultancy of the Year, but if we are honest at times we could have done a little less, a little better. You can always squeeze in one more opportunity, but should you? All agencies will be beaten, sacked & left by their loved ones, but to what extent will often be dictated by balance. Our priorities in 2016 will be our team, our standards and our existing partners. Building upon the #LXAcademy, and by combining our expertise in science, strategy, creativity & technology, this year we will deliver our best work yet.

But above all, I think we should enjoy 2016. We work in a great industry, alongside great people, that do great things. I’ve enjoyed Christmas, spending time with the family and re-charging the batteries, but I’m excited to be back doing what I do best, and not nearly enough people can say that – here’s to another good year.

Born to Thrive

Good Business, by David Hunt

Twelve months ago I was asked if instead of a festive greetings card, could we try and raise enough money to send 10 children to school in Africa. Of course, I was delighted to do something more meaningful than cards. This time of year can inspire the the very best from our society, and perhaps now we need it more than ever. 

Havas Lynx and Born To Thrive

Once again the team exceed my expectations, combining their passion & expertise to fund the education of 42 children, in just 2 weeks. They have since brought the total to 67 children. #High5ives

It should have come as no surprise to me, that repeating last year’s feat was not enough. Why fund individuals’ education, when you can build a school? This year, in support of Born To Thrive, we will build classrooms. How many? The target is one, but I certainly won’t be betting against a few more. #LYNXLife

I’m often asked about how hard it is to be CEO of Havas Lynx? Managing 200+ diverse experts? Preserving 30 years values & culture? And the answer is simple – it isn’t, at all. I have the best job in the world. I work alongside the most amazing people, doing amazing things. I don’t inspire them, they inspire me.

It is at this time of year that we receive gifts from our generous suppliers and contractors, instead this year please donate to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/havaslynx2 #BornToThrive

Introducing #HavasVillageMCR

Havas Village Manchester, by David Hunt

Building the Havas brand in Manchester, and the Manchester brand across the world. 

On Tuesday 2nd November, we proudly held the exclusive launch of the UK’s first Havas Village: Havas Village Manchester. Creating a powerful creative and digital hub in our northern home, #HavasVillageMCR aligns Havas Lynx and our multi-talented network partners with a shared vision for the future.

The initiative draws together the expertise of Havas Lynx, Havas People, Havas PR, Havas Media and DBi. In the heart of our amazing city, we now have five Havas agencies and more than 300 communication experts delivering a seamless experience for our customers, and theirs.

The growth and magnitude of today’s digital channels has resulted in the dilution of the traditional boundaries between communications agencies. If we are to maximise investment and help consumers build meaningful relationships with brands, we must have a unified vision when it comes to strategy, creativity and media. As part of Havas Village Manchester, we do just this, expanding our reach and becoming stronger in our mission to make a real difference to peoples’ lives.

#HavasVillageMCR is situated within the centre of Manchester’s creative and digital community,  to leverage the exceptional talent within the city. In the past four years, Havas Lynx has doubled in size and seen some impeccable talent come in through the door, including over 75 graduates in the last three years alone, bringing their digital and social passion and fresh ideas into the mix. It’s because of this talent, and the vibrancy and power of Manchester that Havas are investing in the city. They see Manchester as it is; a key international hub.

Driven by the combined power of Havas & Manchester, #HavasVillageMCR will see the delivery of meaningful brands for today & tomorrow.

Office

PMGroup Communiqué Communications Consultancy of the Year

Agency of the Year, by David Hunt

The judges said, “Havas Lynx are not just preparing for the future, they are creating it.”

I agree, but not in isolation. Alongside our team, it takes great clients too. We’re incredibly blessed to work alongside some brilliant industry leaders, from all across the globe. Some have been with us since the beginning and the advent of the tablet-pc & closed-loop marketing. Others are new to the industry, but they share our vision & passion for pharma to make a meaningful & sustained impact on society. New, old, familiar, returning, former; we’re grateful to all of our clients and the role they’ve played in making us great.

We’re also very grateful to Havas Health and in particular Donna Murphy & Ed Stapor. A Global CMO of Top 10 Fortune 500 Company commented, “Your industry spends a fortune buying big digital companies, makes them worse, loses the talent, leaves them in a silo and fails to integrate them and deliver their expertise to us.” This could not be further from the reality of our transition from Creative Lynx to Havas Lynx. We’re faster, stronger, better, and significantly so. We’ve matured from a local digital shop to a global communications agency. Havas have been a catalyst for our development, ensuring that we can now boast scientific, strategic and creative excellence, alongside our unparalleled digital expertise.

From a young age, I came to understand the importance of a great team. Expertise, passion, diversity and a collective commitment are the cornerstones of our success. We mix recognised industry leaders with remarkable graduates, decorated creatives with proven engineers, and scientists with strategists. 95% of our staff are proud or very proud of the work they produce, and I am equally proud of them.

The final ingredient is the Havas Lynx Senior Team; myself, Neil Martin, Steve Nicholas, David Whittingham, and Tom Richards. With the exception of Tom, who is a recent addition, we have been together for a decade, enjoying almost all of it. It’s a great team, and one that I’m incredibly honoured to be part of. It’s reassuring to know that when times are hard, you are surrounded by experts & leaders that stand shoulder-to-shoulder. And equally, when times are good that you can celebrate with friends.Communique

Millennials, who’d have them?

Building an agency, by David Hunt

Born in 1980, I’m a borderline Millennial depending on your preferred interpretation. Regardless, I can still feel like an old man when it comes to Millennial engagement in the work place, which is why I’m so proud of our retention rate. Many agencies struggle to retain bright, ambitious talent, whereas at Havas Lynx, we prosper.

We believe Millennials want to make a difference and at Havas Lynx, we are committed to doing just that. We focus on improving patient outcomes; to drive commercial success for our partners. But our efforts don’t end with the client budget, we go much further. In 2015, we’ve already funded the education of 42 children in Africa.

We believe that Millennials want to exist within a vibrant community. #LYNXLife was launched to preserve and enhance our culture. It includes a tea lady, breakfast club and Summer Fun day offline, and Facebook and Instagram, online. To get involved, join us by following #LYNXLife.

Each year we conduct an internal survey.  Of 200+ participants 30 %  said professional development was their key priority. Many people challenge our investment in #LXAcademy accusing it of being excessive but I’d challenge us to spend more.

We try our best to shun excessive structure and hierarchy. Yes, the ultimate decision resides with the senior team but you won’t find us hiding in an office. To my knowledge, no-one at either Havas Lynx, or formerly Creative Lynx, has had their own office, and it’s my intention to maintain this record.

It’s up for debate how many of these principles are specific to Millennials and to me, it simply sounds like good business. But then again, maybe that’s just the Millennial in me.

Campervan