Greg James is the Chief Strategy & Development Officer for Havas Media North America overseeing strategy, content and business development.
Greg moved to New York six years ago to establish a US presence for Cake Group, the content and social marketing business acquired by Havas, where he had been a partner since 2001.
He began his career in film and theater marketing, working for the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival before moving into public relations where he managed communications for brands including Nestle, Fox and a number of dot com start ups.
Capitalizing on this early digital experience he was a founding member of JCPR (now Edelman’s) online division after having spent a brief stint within the agency overseeing celebrity profiles – keeping stories out of the press as much as getting them in…
Joining Cake Group, he oversaw the agency’s first Unilever win and went on to grow the portfolio to manage 15 individual brands and harness the discipline of CPG marketing to define a new planning approach within the agency. Successes at Unilever included double digit growth in the UK’s competitive tea business, global strategy projects for the pasta sauce business and a partnership with Ben & Jerry’s which led to the creation of a successful family festival to bring the brand to live through peak summer season that became a staple of the London event scene.
His experience broadened to include oversight of sponsorship, content, editorial and social marketing on domestic, European and global campaigns. He led the launch of Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS across Europe – attracting not only kids, but whole new generations of gamers to the category.
For Vodafone, he created a global content series around the brand’s Formula 1 sponsorship which saw a branded TV show air in 29 markets and across computers and cell phones in the early days of streaming video, before going on to lead the global strategy for the brand’s music sponsorship.
With this background, he is committed to ensuring that spending media dollars is – somewhat ironically – the last thing we want clients to do. Instead, he is a firm believer that owned, shared and earned impressions and engagement must be at the heart of what a media agency brings to the table.
Within the North American business Greg has established the Collective bringing strategists and content creators together to infuse media plans with smart thinking and collaborative creativity. He is heavily involved across all clients day to day with responsibility for strategy, content, business development and marketing as part of the Executive Leadership team at Havas Media.