With a steadfast commitment to building meaningful American brands through craft and culture, Havas Chicago has hired marketing executive Nicole Laughlin as president of the creative agency. Coming most recently from Facebook, where she led global marketing solutions, Nicole brings a modern approach to help brands authentically deliver powerful creative ideas on modern platforms. She joins Allison Ciummei, who was recently promoted from director of global talent for the Havas Group to Havas Chicago’s chief talent officer, further delivering on an innovative employee experience.
“This year’s focus at Havas Chicago has been on shaping our new future—from our creative vision and new business approach to our key strategic hires, such as John Norman as CCO,” said Paul Marobella, chairman and CEO, Havas Creative North America. “Recruiting and retaining the best talent in the business is crucial to delivering on our mission, which is why we brought on Allison as Havas Chicago’s chief talent officer—fresh from her success launching and managing amazing global talent programs. And, as we continue to double down on Havas Chicago’s positioning of building meaningful American brands through craft and culture, my goal is to build a leadership team that understands the power of this value proposition and how we bring it to life for our clients. Nicole is the perfect person to lead Havas Chicago Creative as president because she brings a fresh perspective to advertising. Her global marketing experience uniquely spans across agency, brand and platform, which will complement our culture-first creative offering.”
Nicole arrives at Havas Chicago after holding senior-level positions at renowned agencies, brands and platforms, where she has helped major retail, CPG and travel brands leverage data and creativity to help better serve their consumers in an ever-evolving marketplace.
In her nearly two years in a global marketing role at Facebook, Nicole was recruited as an industry expert who was tasked with building the platform’s retail vertical. Bringing a mobile-forward mentality, she partnered with major retailers and CPG companies to help them accelerate and innovate how they apply digital strategy and platforms to grow their business—focusing on everything from e-commerce and in-store to buy online pickup in store (BOPIS). Laughlin also collaborated with Facebook’s engineers and product developers to build solutions to retail’s biggest challenge: deliver incremental business growth for both retailers and CPG brands.
While at Leo Burnett, Nicole led global marketing teams to break new grounds with iconic brands Disney and Kellogg’s. For Disney, she marketed the launch of two new theme parks in California and Paris. In partnership with Kellogg’s, Nicole launched new brands and line extensions, which included the establishment of a first-ever partnership between Special K and Yahoo featuring uniquely branded search results.
Nicole also served as vice president, marketing and brand development, for leading Midwest supercenter chain Meijer. There, Nicole was responsible for setting the vision and leading the transformation of Meijer's marketing function from a traditional retail marketing approach to a leading-edge brand building and retail capability designed to engage customers in a digital world.
As president of Havas Chicago Creative, Nicole will deliver the strategic vision of the creative agency. She will also serve as executive client lead, overseeing the agency’s roster of brands including Citi, Hefty, Ragu, Angotsura Bitters, Reynolds Consumer Products, Orbitz, Moen, Michelin, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Cracker Barrel and more. In addition to client management, Laughlin will work closely with Lisa Evia, president of Havas Media Chicago, to lead the Chicago Village on a day-to-day basis, fostering a collaborative culture across Village disciplines, curating customised agency programs and initiatives, and managing new business opportunities.
“I’m thrilled to get back to my agency roots as president of Havas Chicago Creative, building upon its solid foundation and continuing its success,” said Nicole. “Marketing firms today need to move at the speed of the customers they serve, and many are playing catch up. Driven by data and creativity, with the customer at the center, Havas Chicago partners with meaningful American brands to build innovative solutions that unlock business growth. I’m eager to bring my digital experience to grow these partnerships, while helping our clients embrace a mobile-forward mindset to create more personalised consumer experiences at scale.”
Before joining Havas Chicago, Allison was director of global talent for the Havas Group, based in New York, for four years. In that role, she helped to shape the global talent strategy for the organisation, designing some of its flagship programs, including Femmes Forward and Havas Lofts, and continuing to re-think the industry’s approach to talent.