As advertising money pours into digital, agencies find themselves searching for a boat to navigate this torrent and, they hope, make some much-needed money in the process.
Sir Martin Sorrell’s Mediamonks and David Jones’ You & Mr Jones have both prospered by becoming the handmaidens of big tech companies and clients trying to save money (even as they scatter it over the internet) with in-housing and (relatively) low cost tech-driven production operations.
The big ad holding groups have their own studio operations – WPP has Hogarth – but to date they’ve been mostly below the salt.
Now UK-based adam&eveDDB is merging its Cain & Abel studio with Omnicom’s Gutenberg while Havas has struck a global deal with Wellcom Worldwide, described as a global creative production agency, to form Havas Studios. Both parties will roll in existing production business. Wellcom was bought by Hyundai agency Innocean in 2019.
Havas Studios will operate initially in London, New York, Chicago and Kuala Lumpur (where its low-cost tech is based), followed by further studios in Europe, Australia, China, India, Latin America and the US West Coast. It will be headed by Havas UK COO Paul Ward.
Havas Group CEO Yannick Bolloré says: “Building better brand experiences means rethinking how content is managed. Now that digital is fully integrated into everything we do, it is content’s turn to become an organic part of our approach.
“By partnering with Wellcom we are now able to provide our clients with the best production capabilities in the industry. The deal also strengthens our ties with Wellcom’s mother company Innocean, with whom we have a long and fruitful history.”