Havas has announced it has acquired Auckland advertising agency Mr Smith in a deal that sees its two founding partners John O’Leary and Ben Handy heading the New Zealand operation.
The agency has rebranded to Havas New Zealand, and will report to Havas Australia’s executive leadership team of Mike Wilson, James Wright and Anthony Gregorio.
Commenting on the acquisition, O’Leary said Havas is a forward-thinking, content-inspired company whose beliefs align strongly with Mr Smith.
“In Europe and the US, Havas clients are having conversations with agency heads, asking for a better agency/client model where all services are provided within a single office, with content at the core,” he said.
“Clients have worked through a decade of the segregated agency supplier model, which can often create brand disjointedness and consumer disconnection and they want something to fix their brand issue.”
Handy, who has been appointed Havas New Zealand’s new chief creative officer, said: “Throughout a number of global markets, Havas is creating ‘Havas Villages’ – offices that house all the talent a modern brand needs. This includes teams of strategists, media and content producers truly collaborating, with no agendas, across multiple channels.
“We have seen Havas clients successfully get connected and cohesive brand collusion using this model, rather than the fractured process and work that you see across multiple platforms now.”