WPP and Havas Cosy-Up for Media Buying Joint Venture

08 April 2005

Paris-headquartered marketing services giant Havas has long been seen as a takeover target, although recent account gains have temporarily stilled speculation.

But tongues are wagging again following Thursday's announcement of a joint media-buying venture with London's WPP Group.

Word on the adland grapevine is that this could be the start of a beautiful friendship between the globe's second and sixth-largest agency groups.

Right now, however, the action is confined to a new project branded 2MV. Its initial objective is to gain the worldwide media planning business of French auto colossus PSA Peugeot Citroen.

2MV will be headed by ceo Yves Del Frate, supported by executives from WPP's Group M media unit and Havas' MPG. According to Del Frate and Group M boss Irwin Gottlieb, the newcomer will benefit from the combined media-buying muscle of both holding groups.

Havas and WPP shares rose Thursday after announcement of the deal.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff