Havas Lofts: From Madison Avenue to Princess Street

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Ryan Phippen is an SVP, Account Group Supervisor at Havas Life Metro in New York. He joined Havas Lynx Group in Manchester for the whole of June as part of the Havas Lofts programme, and spent time with various teams within the agency. Here he answers some questions about his time at the offices.

What have you enjoyed most about your time at the Havas Lynx Group?

It’s going to sound like I’m playing to my audience a bit but…the people. Everyone here has been welcoming, accommodating, smart, fun and nice. I really have enjoyed EVERYONE I’ve met. Before I arrived, I was told by a NY colleague that everyone here was nice. I was appropriately sceptical but that couldn’t have been truer. Thanks especially to James Young, Essie O’Shaughnessy, Esther Hill, Emily Jones, Jo Eccles, David Whittingham and Carl Jordan.

What did you like about our office space?

While its very much an open office environment, there are pockets of seating on each floor which help break the space nicely at both 52 and 54. My home agency at 200 Madison Avenue is ALL OPEN, no breaks in space. There are rare instances where everyone is intensely working, and you can see 75 people in unison silence. It’s eerie! Or the opposite where it’s a 75-person party and you can’t hear yourself think (I must admit I like those moments). Lynx has somehow found the happy medium in open office design.

Although, like 200 Madison there’s a daily fight for the limited conference room space. That part was familiar. Luckily when my calls ran long, and I overstayed by booking everyone was amicable and understanding. That’s not always the case back in New York.

What was your favourite thing about Manchester?

Back home in New York I make dinner for myself most nights. Being here gave me the opportunity to eat out every night. My belts didn’t appreciate it, but I did. And believe it or not the food was my favourite part of Manchester. The options in the city are not lacking, and the execution was on point. I experienced the full spectrum of options…from fine dining at Tattu and San Carlo to a regrettable late-night visit to the 24-hour McDonalds around the corner from my hotel. My consistent favourite spots would have to be Gorilla and Mackie Mayor. The best craft beer I had was at Cloud Water Brewing. And the office debate should be over…Changos is loads better than Chilangos!

My least favourite aspect was obviously the rain. I’ve been told it was uncharacteristically rainy during my stay here this June. I hope that’s true. Honestly if MARVEL Studios ever introduce a new Avengers character who can control the rain, his or her origin story better be set in Manchester!

What are your main takeaways from the Havas Lofts programme?

My main take away from Lofts was a fortification of my believe that Havas is a global set of agencies that truly operate as a network. I have endless examples of people I met from the Lynx or London office that had worked with a US Havas agency on a shared client or recounted a combined pitch effort with another Havas agency. The best example being that I was part of a combined pitch effort between Havas Life Metro and Havas Lynx Group that kicked off during my Lofts stay. Hopefully we’ll bring home the win! #bettertogether

What have you learnt from working within the Manchester team?

#LXAcademy and #LYNXLife are VERY important and unique to the Lynx office. I sat through four, excellent #LXAcademy sessions and was lucky enough to overlap with a #LYNXLife litter pick on a Friday morning at Crosby Beach. Training programs exist elsewhere at HAVAS, but they pale in comparison to the robustness and organization of #LXAcademy. And activities similar to #LYNXLife back in the US are designed to help inject culture into the agency environment. Whereas here #LYNXLife is woven deeply into the culture and activities are simply something worthwhile and fun to do.

Did you notice any differences or similarities between working at the Havas Lynx Group to working in Havas Life Metro NY?

We both embody PRIDE in what we do, in what our work does…in everything we do! I think the Havas Lynx Group successfully owns it a bit better 😊. I’m planning on bringing some of that Lynx PRIDE back to Havas Life Metro.