Greg James is the Global Chief Strategy Officer for Havas Group Media overseeing insight and data informed strategy for clients across the organization. He has a background in creative and content marketing that informs his integrated approach to client consulting.
Beginning his career in film and theater at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, he moved into communications agencies including UK independent shop Impact and later Edelman working in digital and celebrity PR – keeping stories out of the press as often as getting them in… Joining forward thinking boutique agency Cake in 2001 he oversaw the agency’s first Unilever win and went on to grow the portfolio to manage over 15 brands and harness the discipline of CPG marketing to define a new planning approach within the agency.
During his time at Cake, he worked in digital, PR, experiential, sponsorship and advertiser funded programming. He created a global content series around Vodafone’s F1 sponsorship airing in 30 countries and across laptops and cell phones in the early days of streaming video. He went on to define Vodafone’s global strategy in music, building partnerships with MTV and Last.FM, creating IP through events across Europe and working on an ambitious cross-platform, cross-market 26 episode online murder mystery series that garnered international awards and recognition (Who Killed Summer?).
In 2008 Greg took time out to complete an executive MBA which included study on organizational culture within marketing services agencies. Greg moved to New York in 2010 to establish a US presence for Cake as the de facto social and content division of Havas Media and quickly created campaigns for brands including Volvo, vitaminwater at the 2012 Olympics, Yahoo! and Panasonic.
In 2014 Greg became the Chief Strategy Officer for Havas Media in the USA where his expertise in earned, shared and owned media brings a fresh dimension to clients’ paid media investments. During his time as CSO, Havas Media North America reached record growth levels and he was part of the management team leading the business to win Agency of the Year in 2017 with both AdWeek and MediaPost, achieving a #1 RECMA score and launching Havas Healthcare, which handles over $1B in media spend.
In Spring 2018 he moved on to become the Global Chief Strategy Officer across Havas Group Media and oversaw the agency’s re-positioning into ‘Meaningful Media’ with a thought leadership platform which explores how media can create more meaningful connections between brands and consumers, and which brands within media today are the most meaningful in an era of disruption, fake news and concerns for brand safety. (https://meaningfulmedia.havas.com/)
Beyond Havas he is active in the community as a Board member of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, acts as an advisor to an e-commerce startup in home decor and enjoys spending time with his husband in their native homelands (UK and Portugal respectively).