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Wall Street Journal, 1/24/11
The CEO of Havas Is Determined the Advertising Agency Won’t Be a Casualty of the Internet Revolution
It was easier for Marie Antoinette to adapt to the French Revolution than for advertising agencies to understand the profound impact the Internet would have on their businesses. So says Fernando Rodés Vilà, chief executive of French agency Havas SA, in a frank admission of the challenges facing the industry.
Ad agencies failed to react quickly enough when the Internet emerged, and just stood by, watching entrepreneurs behind technology companies such as Google Inc. or Facebook transform the industry, says the 50-year-old Catalan who has been at the helm of the world’s fifth-biggest advertising agency by revenue since 2006.