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Havas merges EHS and Discovery into new international data operation Helia

Havas Creative Group (which is a new one on me) is relaunching two of its agencies Havas EHS and Havas Discovery, as Helia.

This is essentially a refresh of the French-owned company’s one-time direct marketing business. Helia now boasts ‘data-related’ revenue of over $70m, eight offices around the world in the US, Europe and Shanghai and 700 staff, including 200 ‘data scientists.’

Bosses of Helia are Havas EHS group CEO Tash Whitmey, Havas Worldwide Chicago group president Paul Marobella, and Havas EHS group COO Matt Fanshawe, all reporting to Havas Creative Group boss Andrew Benett. Clients include Unilever, easyJet, IBM, Diageo, Sony PlayStation and Liberty Mutual.

andrew-benett-havasBenett (left) says: “I am delighted to announce the international expansion of our offering under the Helia umbrella. At Havas, we believe that we must lead with innovation, agility, and speed. With this new entity, our strong expertise in data, digital, and creative will be effectively rolled out across the globe.” Helia is planning to open in Cape Town, Singapore and Sydney too.

Havas has certainly been ringing the changes since Yannick Bollore took over from David Jones as CEO (although Jones had started the process). The pace has increased since Yannick’s dad Vincent became the majority shareholder in Havas with a 73 per cent stake.

Havas recently welded together its London agency Havas Worldwide with last year’s acquisition Work Club, a move that resulted in the departure of London CEO Russ Lidstone.

WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell made waves a couple of years ago at Cannes when he hailed the arrival of ‘Math Men’ in place of the Mad Men of yore. It’s safe to say that not everyone within WPP was quite so thrilled at this prospect. Havas, though, seems to have bought into it in a big way.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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