Havas Eschews Major Online Acquisitions

02 February 2007

PARIS: Havas and its advertising agency networks will rely on hiring individual talent to compete in the digital marketing arena. Unlike its rivals, the French-headquartered group is not planning to swallow entire online businesses, according to Euro RSCG ceo David Jones.

The agency head was speaking at a congratulatory gathering in the French capital where senior executives were celebrating two trade press accolades as 'Network of the Year'.

Jones was speaking following the completion of rival Publicis Groupe's $1.3 billion (€986m; £661.6m) purchase of leading US new media and direct marketing agency Digitas.

He told the gathering: "It is probably for us a more interesting strategy to build on what we have and build through talent."

And he queried the price Publicis paid for the American business, saying: "Digitas is a great company but there is a danger that [Publicis is] playing very expensive catch-up. Whereas [the digital market] is growing rapidly the profitability of digital agencies is not that great."

User generated content on video-sharing websites such as YouTube also figured on the meeting agenda, with Jones speculating as to why advertisers want to identify their brands with such content, especially as much of it is poor quality.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff