Cannes Lions

Havas Gazette


Presentation Image






For inspiration, we looked to our context: advertising award shows.

Ad people love to take themselves seriously – and no more so than when they’re chasing after awards. But award shows are also when the industry bares all: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright weird. And that provides us the perfect opportunity to poke fun at ourselves.

Our idea: The Havas Gazette.

A satirical newspaper, produced in-house, and distributed on-site at the Havas Café. The Gazette took aim at the ad industry and all its funny, strange and surreal behaviours.

Coffee and a thought-provoking newspaper – what could be better?


The Gazette was designed and produced entirely in-house. All articles were written from scratch, with drafts being prepared several weeks in advance. We researched the current crop of buzzwords and industry trends, and then set our sights on them – in anticipation of these topics getting airplay at Spikes.

To make sure the final product felt as authentic as possible, great care and attention was put into the editorial layout, type styles and paper stock. The Gazette masthead was styled after the French daily, Le Monde – as a tip of the hat to the origins of Havas in the French newspaper industry. We arranged for real ad placements to mimic as closely as possible the content of industry publications.

The Gazette was published each morning over the three days of the festival, and distributed for free from within the Havas Café. Our print run was approximately 500 per day.


Despite reports to the contrary, it seems the ad industry does have a sense of humour after all. The Gazette was very well received by ad folks, as well as our peers in the real publishing industry – with the paper being featured in other industry organs such as Campaign Asia.

The goal was to use our presence at Spikes to lift the profile of the Havas brand in a cluttered media environment, while our larger competitors were also vying for attention in the same space.

The Havas Gazette became one of the highlights of the event and a true crowd-pleaser. In conjunction with the Havas Café, we helped make Havas one of the most talked-about agency brands on social media during the Spikes festival.

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