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Havas has acquired a French indie healthcare agency – here’s why

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By Sam Bradley | Senior Reporter

January 25, 2022 | 5 min read

As Havas buys up an indie medical agency in Paris, we look at why the French holding company is expanding in this specialist area.

stethoscope

Havas has acquired a healthcare agency to build on its successful specialist division

Havas Group has announced the acquisition of a specialist Paris agency, Raison de Santé, in order to boost its capabilities in the healthcare sector.

According to Havas chief Yannick Bolloré, the move will strengthen the French holding company’s position in the specialist healthcare space – a sector that is rapidly growing.

Why has Havas bought Raison de Santé?

Raison de Santé was founded back in 2008 and focuses on medical education, working with healthcare clients such as Swiss phama company Roche and Japanese ophthalmology specialist Santen.

In a statement, Sylvain Verut, manager of Raison de Santé, said: “Our philosophy is to put the experts at the center of the creative and strategic process to effectively launch therapeutic solutions in many fields of specialization – but we are also rethinking the patient pathway by capitalizing on insights across medical demographics and leveraging digital innovation.”

As well as offering strategic guidance and consultation work, Raison organizes professional events within the healthcare space. The agency has medical experts on the books, giving it expertise in specific fields suuch as neurology, vaccines and fertility.

Raison will join the group’s healthcare arm Havas Health & You (HH&Y). Bolloré, chairman and chief executive officer of Havas Group, said: “Acquiring Raison de Santé will help HH&Y continue to build a structure of robust capabilities to provide our clients with the integrated offerings they need to stay competitive both in this rapidly evolving market and around the world. We are thrilled to welcome the Raison de Santé teams to our group.”

“Joining the HH&Y network is a great opportunity for us. We are looking forward to combining our expertise and offering our capabilities to HH&Y’s global suite of clients to make the most of the synergies between brand and market communications,” added Verut.

Healthcare is a lucrative sector for agencies

Health marketing has been one of the biggest growth sectors of the last two years for marketing and advertising agencies. Private and public healthcare providers, as well as pharmaceutical corporations, have significantly increased the amount they spend on communications; the British government spent over £180m on Covid-19-related messaging during 2020 alone.

Publicis Health has recorded six consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in North America; worldwide, healthcare provided 19% of Publicis’s net revenue growth in the third quarter of 2021; and at WPP healthcare and pharmaceutical clients accounted for 7% of net revenue growth in the same period.

”Health is a strategic focus for the Havas Group,” said Loris Repellin, chief executive officer for France at HH&Y. ”Health is not just a sector where communication can innovate, but where it must innovate.”

”MedEd will be a key part of the value which we offer, enabling us to think globally with our clients and to create joint innovative solutions in line with the expectations of healthcare practitioners and researchers, patients and their families.”

Investment into the sector – particularly digital health companies – is also soaring. Funding for US-based startups working on products such as mental health apps and wearable fitness devices amounted to $29.1bn, according to healthcare-focused investment fund Rock Health. In France, closer to Havas’s back yard, the government recently announced a €650m investment in its own digital health capabilities. The holding company has an incubator of its own called Station F.

Bolloré suggested the acquisition would ideally position Havas in the market. “This acquisition comes as France’s health sector continues a period of rapid expansion – in the last five years alone, the sector has doubled its revenues; the country is the world’s fifth largest market for medicinal products and the fourth largest exporter of vaccines.“

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