Havas moves into cryptocurrency space with blockchain comms division

Titled Havas Blockchain, the offering is a joint venture

Havas is the first big ad network to buy into the blockchain hype, launching a joint venture to help support initial coin offerings (ICO) – fundraising rounds for crypocurrencies.

Titled Havas Blockchain, the offering is a joint venture between Havas' corporate and financial consultancy AMO and a French consultancy called Blockchain Partner.

Details of what exactly Havas Blockchain will focus on are scant, but the group has described it as a "fully integrated communications offering designed to support blockchain tech businesses and entrepreneurs."

It looks like, rather than taking ownership of a blockchain media buying solution, Havas Blockchain will instead help companies working in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space with their PR and marketing strategy.

Havas Blockchain will be led by Havas Paris consultant Fabien Aufrechter and a specialist team focusing exclusively on communities of cryptocurrency investors.

The new division's first client it Talao, a platform that connects freelance talent with major corporations, which has plans to launch an ICO.

According to PR Week, the agency will offer 'tokens' to people who obtain PR actions (like retweets), and advertising for the token will increase in value as more people buy the currency.

Havas will take payment in the form of both cash and tokens.

Stéphane Fouks, executive vice-president of Havas & Havas Creative, and advisor to Talao said "Joining forces with Blockchain Partner will enable us to provide full-service support to firms eager to develop blockchain-based solutions. Our aim is to make Havas Group a key player in this new economy."

Havas' investment in the space follows on from the launch of blockchain-based agency Truth last year, and a Unilever and IBM experiment.

Blockchain is becoming somewhat of a buzzword in the ad industry, with some ad tech giants warning that the ICO is a "terrifying trend".

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