Havas acquires shopper marketing agency

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 21 March 2017
Havas leadership team

Havas has acquired shopper marketing agency BD Australia to bolster its retail capabilities and tap into its shopper data set.

Led by MD Simon Porter, BD Australia specialises in integrated retail and shopper marketing, creating ideas to help brands and retailers achieve greater commercial success.

The agency has been working with Havas for 12 months, helping the agency win Bottlemart, SipnSave and provide support for Afterpay.

Havas Creative Group CEO Anthony Gregorio tells AdNews the skillset BD Australia provides is an increasingly important part of the marketing mix.

“With the increasing intelligence that's being applied to driving sales in-store, we felt that a smart acquisition for our increasing requirements across the Havas Village was important,” he says.

“Driving brand preference near or at point of purchase is a crucial component to the marketing mix. BD has a suite of tools to drive clever decision making when it comes to the science of shopper marketing. We had partnered with BD for our clients before, so we also know that they are a great bunch of people that would fit well culturally.

“Application of data in a smart way really led to our decision. Whilst online sales are burgeoning, offline retail is still crucial for many of our clients. BD can apply their thinking to improve sales conversion regardless of where the consumer is looking to purchase.”

Porter, who has 15 years of agency leadership experience in brand marketing, has worked on blue chip brands including Sony, Vodafone, Microsoft, Adidas and Coca-Cola. Joining him are creative director Tom Hoskins and the BD Team. He will report into Havas' executive management team.

Porter says the Havas acquisition will enable the business to invest more in proprietary research and planning tools, along with growing the data capability and the creative team.

“BD Australia’s strategic and creative skillset, in driving sales, can be a real differentiator for Havas against the competitor set. Using our proprietary planning and measurement tools we’re going to be able to quantify the sales effect of creative campaigns and ROI,” he says.

“We believe too few creative agencies in Australia explicitly focus on driving sales and those that do, lack the insight and innovation displayed in leading markets. We aspire to be the leading creative solution for forward-thinking Australian clients looking to sell more product."

Havas has acquired 100% of BD Australia but has no plans to drop the agency name.

The move follows Havas' acquisition of Auckland agency Mr Smith, establishing a presence in New Zealand for the first time. Last year the network restructured to integrate its creative and media business into a 'Village' offering.

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