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Havas Media Group launches LuxHub

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MUMBAI: Havas Media Group has launched LuxHub, a global consulting specialist label that will deliver media communications and marketing support for both luxury brands and luxury audiences.

Headquartered in Milan, the network also launches with established centers of excellence in London, Paris, New York and Dubai, with further expansion plans in key markets such as Shanghai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Moscow in 2015.

The global lead for the project, fashion and luxury expert Isabelle Harvie-Watt, will oversee the strategic expansion and consulting offer for LuxHub using knowledge gained from her 14 years at Giorgio Armani, five years at Versace and lastly at Tods Group, running global marketing and communications. Working with the senior management team at Havas Group, Watt has led plans for investment in a specialist luxury division since her arrival as Havas Media Group Italy CEO in 2011.

Havas Media Group global managing director Dominique Delport said, “Offering our clients the ability to connect to the luxury sector in a meaningful way has always been part of our strategy and I am delighted that we are now able to deliver this specialist consulting service to our clients on a global basis. The credibility we already have in this area, coupled with strong leadership from Isabelle to drive specialist teams in all the key markets, means we can provide new insights and innovative strategies both for luxury brands and brands who want to interact with the luxury audience.”

Watt added, “Luxury brands realise that they need to change the way they communicate and start building stronger relationships with their consumers. Digital transformation is no longer an option. Growing online distribution and strong content strategies are the new norm. LuxHub is a great step forward to further closing the gap in language between agencies and luxury clients and the way luxury audiences are evolving. In our recent global survey, in-store shopping is still the favoured purchasing method for half of luxury shoppers, while 24 per cent shop mainly online. However, statistics show that this move by a quarter of the respondents to shop online is not being matched by the brands with over half (54 per cent) stating that luxury brands should engage more with their consumers in the online experience.”

Watt and the LuxHub UK team, headed by Tammy Smulders, who will also join the team as global executive director, will deliver their first study on luxury and brands later this month. The project uses data from 1,000 people representing the top 10 per cent of income earners in China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, US, UAE and UK. The findings look at luxury trends across retail, travel, home furnishings, auto, jewellery and art.

During 2015 the LuxHub consulting unit will also work alongside luxury expert teams from the Havas Creative division to incorporate creative and experiential talents with projects in association with BETC Luxe (Paris) and Havas Luxe (New York).

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