Web 3.0, the “upgraded” Internet characterized by decentralization and the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI), will “change the contact points between brands and customers,” according to an advertising and public relations executive. 

“We won’t have a meaningful space [with our clients] if we don’t enter into these systems,” said Alberto Canteli, Havas Group chief executive officer and chairman for the Nordics, CEE (Central and Eastern Europe), Middle East, Southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan. “My personal bet is that, in the coming three to five years, Web 3.0 will make us go through the strongest revolution we have ever seen.”  

Fields such as robotics and AI, Mr. Canteli told BusinessWorld in a Zoom call, will move more interactions into the virtual world. Members of Mr. Canteli’s staff are obliged to have Oculus virtual reality headsets to help them understand how Web 3.0 applications work.  

Havas Group, a global communications group, launched Metaverse in Havas, a unit for brands that want to enter the metaverse, early this year; and Havas Blockchain, which offers training and coaching for firms operating in the blockchain ecosystem, in 2018. 

The Group’s clients typically want to mint their own non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or launch a new platform. 

The Asia Pacific region is “a very strong target” for growth, according to Mr. Canteli.

“We have been winning very important accounts in Korea, the Philippines, and Singapore,” he said, declining to give specifics. “We are in a strong business momentum, and are onboarding big, important, new accounts.”  

According to Mr. Canteli, talent retention is the biggest challenge amid digital transformation. 

“Companies have to conquer the hearts of young people” so they will want to stay, he said. “Salary is an option, but it’s not the key one,” Mr. Canteli added. “It’s [also about] being a company that offers flexibility, continuous training, gender parity, respect.” — Patricia B. Mirasol