Tag Archives: Digital Awards

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

LYNX London; What is the ambition for an agency start-up?

Agency expansion, by David Hunt

Emergence of a great team? High profile account wins? Excellent financial performance? Awards? 18 months in and HAVAS LYNX London have ticked every box.

The team is spread over two locations. I’m sure management consultants would describe it  as on-shoring and outline the benefits in cost efficiencies. Being very smart, they would also talk about even greater savings with alternate locations – quality is not everyone’s priority. Quality is LYNX London’s number one priority. We describe it as an agency, a modern agency, defined by expertise and not geography. Combining the creative & digital pedigree of Manchester, with the strategic and scientific expertise of London. We know the benefit is a best-in-class service.

HAVAS LYNX London

HAVAS LYNX London

The teams don’t share an office, rarely take lunch & have entirely different accents, yet they are tight knit & getting closer, creative & getting bolder, innovative & getting smarter. At the heart of their success are the people. From junior developers in Manchester through to account directors in London, the team is blessed with intelligence and drive.

The team that a client sees is important, but so too are the experts behind the scenes. Last year HAVAS LYNX London collected a number of high profiles accounts, through their exceptional service and high quality product. The team front-of-house and the guys in the kitchen aligned to the needs of the client. And fiercely determined too.

But it would be wrong to say it has all been easy, it has not. They have to make every communication count, but in a world when meetings are often bloated & ineffective perhaps this represents another strength. The creative leads are not just across the office, but equally they have few disruptions and an atypical opportunity to focus. Cultures are more difficult to align, but more rewarding when they do. Maybe it is harder, evidence would suggest it’s certainly worth it.

Since 2009 and a record award haul of 6 wins at the PM Digital Awards, HAVAS LYNX have had unprecedented success at industry events. Before that first glorious night, I remember attending countless events without success. As the saying goes, good things come to those that wait. It is with a slight twinge of jealousy, that LYNX London only had to wait 12 months to win their first significant gong – Digital Campaign at the PM Society Awards. Entirely deserved.

But their greatest achievement? Every member of the team contributing to a culture of success. From the top to the bottom, from the Manchester-based studio to the account team of London, from ping-pong to pitches, they want to win every time (and so far do).

2013, More Ups and Downs than the Big Dipper

A review of 2013, by David Hunt

We knocked down & rebuilt our home, I became CEO of HAVAS LYNX and most amazingly became a Father.

The Big Dipper

The Big Dipper

Having started at Creative Lynx as the studio junior, it was with immense pride that I became Chief Executive this summer. In many ways very little changed, I was still part of the same brilliant team with David Whittingham, Steve Nicholas and Neil Martin, but in many ways far more changed than I’d expected. Within two months we’d lost one of our most significant accounts and with the inevitable self-reflection that follows, recognised that we needed to evolve our business. HAVAS LYNX, formerly Creative Lynx, has been established for over 25 years and it is testament to the organisation’s DNA that it has consistently evolved to meet the changing landscape.

We believe that the global fiscal climate demands smart business models that provide high value services. We believe our clients are faced with an unprecedented spectrum of healthcare stakeholders and therefore require greater support than ever before. We believe to harness the brilliance of over 150 strategic, creative and digital experts, you need collaboration, integration and an agile philosophy.

On the 9th of August, as part of our Agency Day, we launched LYNX PRIDE – a complete re-structure of our business designed around the needs of the market, our clients and our teams. It was a courageous move, epitomising our heritage & philosophy. As we close 2013 the results speak for themselves; feedback from our team & clients is unsolicited & overwhelming, we collected two further awards at the prestigious PMEA Awards and we have just secured a fantastic new account working with a bold & exciting team that share our passion for ground-breaking campaigns. They say, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, and I’m excited to announce that we are just getting started!!

Don’t knock down your home when your wife is 6 months pregnant – I learnt that in 2013. I also learnt that needing a great creative & great developer is not just the formula for success in marketing communications. Working with Phill Armstrong of White box Architecture we have emerged with a beautifully designed home and at the heart of that success, and at the heart of most client-supplier successes is a friendship & mutual respect. Even the best ideas still require flawless execution and with an obsessive attention to detail, I have quickly come to realise that I am that “client”. Fortunately, I found a builder with an equally sharp eye, a genuine commitment to quality and an essential sense of humour – E.P. Muldoon. Demonstrating expertise, initiative and most importantly patience, his team has built our home around us considering every detail, and adding value every step.

The 30th of April 2013, the highlight of this year and the last 33 – I became a Dad. Like many men before and after me, it was equally terrifying & amazing. Every day my world changes a little bit. Every day I learn a little bit more. Every day I realise that everything that every parent said is entirely true, and it really is the best thing in the world. And everything else… secondary. 

Sustained Success, The Mark of a Great Team?

Awards; Behind the scenes of 23 wins in 5 years, by David Hunt

It was September 2009 and we were travelling to the inaugural PM Digital Awards. As is customary, we were debating the merits of our finalists, I’m our toughest critic and had predicted 1 or maybe 2 – we won 6, including both best in show!! Travelling home today, with 23 wins in 5 years I could not be more proud of the whole team & more grateful to our client partners.

I’ve grown up playing football and people talk about the difference between a great year and a great team. To win a title is a great year, to win the title year-after-year is the mark of a great team. In football this sustained success often includes the need to re-invent & evolve the team. As an agency we have done the same. We invest heavily in research & development, we embrace new technologies, and we recruit the brightest digital talent. We don’t stand still, and as a result neither do our clients.

How have we maintained our position as leading innovators in healthcare communications? We have great clients, who share our ambition to innovate. We have great expertise, within a culture of innovation. We have a great philosophy, focused on improving health outcomes.

Our clients don’t have to be digital experts, they do have to be courageous. Based on robust insight, a solid understanding of the regulations and digital technologies, we will make recommendations. But we can only be successful through a strong partnership with our clients. We are at our best, our strongest and our most innovative when working as a team.

We have almost 200 people in Europe, over 250 including LYNX NY, all focused on healthcare. Can you have scale & innovation? Yes, we are talking thousands & not hundreds when this could become an issue. Can you be small & innovative today? Not sure, the number of technologies & platforms is increasing at an unbelievable rate. As an individual you simply cannot be a master of them all, as a result, how can a small agency develop a campaign defined by the brief rather than by their in-house expertise, if it is limited in it’s very nature?

I often talk about a vibrant Manchester digital community, and it’s importance to our success. It also comes with challenges. The most significant of which is talent recruitment. On the surface we are competing with agencies offering websites for Nike, Audi & Virgin, and pharma is just not that cool. However, pharma makes a difference. We work on amazing treatments from HIV to Oncology & Diabetes that transform lives. As an agency, we are united by a common philosophy – Helpful Change. Inspiring us to be better & attract the talent necessary to fulfil that vision.

On the eve of the inaugural PM Digital Awards in 2009, if we would have debated the number of wins over the first 5 years… it certainly would not have been 23, and a period of such sustained success. And for that I am extremely grateful to both our bold clients and exceptional team.

You can watch a short video montage of the HAVAS LYNX 2013 PM Digital Media award finalist entries here: http://www.havaslynx.com/work/video-archive/