Havas Launches Agency Revamp with UK Merger

11 August 2003

Havas’ reorganisation is underway with the merger of its UK agencies Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper and Partners BDDH.

The holding company recently unveiled a revised structure in the wake of poor first-half results. It is building up the Euro RSCG Worldwide network as its chief global player and repositioning Arnold Worldwide as a collection of smaller creative hotshops active only in key markets [WAMN: 01-Aug-03].

To this end, it will combine BDDH – one of Arnold’s British units – with Euro RSCG, leaving WCRS as the smaller network’s UK outpost.

The new entity will be named Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper Partners – retaining Brett Gosper’s name even though he is leaving the agency for McCann-Erickson [WAMN: 07-Aug-03]. It will have billings of £221 million ($356m; €314m) according to the Campaign Top 300 Agencies report, making it the UK’s eighth biggest agency.

In charge will be BDDH ceo Nigel Long, who takes the same role at the new shop. Euro RSCG’s chairman Mark Wnek and ceo Chris Pinnington will become the merged agency’s co-chairmen, while Adam Leigh and Simon Toaldo will be joint managing directors. There will, however, be an undisclosed number of redundancies.

The merger reunites the Peugeot account with that of auto sibling Citroën after they were split last year [WAMN: 29-Jan-02]. In this case the two clients are said to be happy with the move, but there may be more serious conflicts ahead involving Euro RSCG’s Del Monte and Air France accounts, and BDDH’s work for Gerber Foods and bmi.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff