Mergers and Acquisitions Agency Business

Havas is integrating its creative and healthcare agencies under a single leader

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By Sam Bradley | Senior Reporter

July 15, 2022 | 4 min read

French holding company Havas is integrating its specialist health division with its global creative network, Havas Creative Group.

Havas graphic asset on blue background

Havas Health & You leader Donna Murphy will now also head its creative agency group / The Drum

While the company's spokespeople confirmed the move is not a formal merger, both agency networks will now be led by Donna Murphy, global chief executive of Havas Health & You.

Murphy explained that the move would “produce something truly unique for our client partners and teams across the globe,” and that the integrated network would provide “a unified, best-in-class agency offering with unmatched capabilities that will work across disciplines to support the success of the world’s best and brightest brands across categories.”

Havas Creative global chief executive Chris Hirst is set to leave the network.

Why has Havas bridged healthcare with creative?

The health agency sector has seen significant growth since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, with pharmaceutical, private healthcare and government clients all spending more on comms. Havas Health & You contributed “strong organic growth” to parent company Vivendi’s revenues last year, and helped drive 18% net revenue increase for Havas across the board in the first quarter of 2022.

Marrying its specialist health offering, which has a worldwide staff of over 4,000, to its creative networks will give healthcare clients access to the sort of advertising firepower previously reserved for consumer brands, helping Havas capture more of that increased spend. British holding company WPP recently merged its specialist healthcare agencies back into its network agencies for similar reasons.

Meanwhile, Vivendi boss Yannick Bolloré has made streamlining and integrating Havas one of his primary missions; the group launched its ‘Together’ integration strategy back in 2013.

Bolloré said: “We will build on this momentum and further deepen the integration between our business units to provide our clients, partners and talent with even more agile and streamlined collaboration.”

He noted there was also demand from consumer clients for a consultative-type service like that typically offered by health agencies. “Through her proven leadership, Donna has built the prototype for the end-to-end consultative partner that brands need today. Layered with our creative force and talented leadership teams, what we can offer health and consumer brands alike is powerful. Donna’s spirit of service, compassion and inclusive leadership not only fits the needs of our partners but will play a major role in us continuing our mission of making a meaningful difference to brands, businesses and people.”

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