Havas Group gains foothold in Scotland with acquisition of Additive

Data-led creative agency’s client list includes Heineken, Netflix and Jacobs Douwe Egberts.

Havas' acquisition is based in Edinburgh and was founded in 2020.

Havas Group has bought Edinburgh-based data and creative agency Additive and plans to integrate the business into Havas Media Group, allowing clients "to deliver more tailored and personalized content and advertising to their customers in real time."

Additive founders and managing partners Richard Gill and Jack Few will retain their titles and roles and report to Havas Media Group chief investment officer Simon Bevan. Additive has a staff of 15, all of whom will be kept on under the new ownership, while the business will continue to operate under its own name, as a "specific capability in its own right." Havas said that it is planning to grow Additive's headcount "significantly over the next year."

Since its foundation in 2020, Additive has worked with more than 50 clients in the U.K., Europe and the U.S., including Heineken, Netflix and Jacobs Douwe Egberts, and reportedly driven an average 55% boost in effectiveness.

Havas Media Group, led by chief executive Patrick Affleck, houses agencies and divisions including Havas Media, Havas Entertainment, Havas Market and (recent acquisition) Search Laboratory, all of which will be able to partner Additive.

Havas said Additive has already "developed a scalable solution for international clients and they are already planning on launching their capabilities in other key markets, including the U.S."

The agency will continue to operate out of its Edinburgh base, extending Havas Media Group's reach beyond London, Manchester and Leeds and into Scotland.

Yannick Bolloré, Havas Group's chairman and CEO, said: "This acquisition strengthens our ability to seamlessly distribute and optimise unlimited volumes of dynamic and relevant creative messaging to addressable audiences at scale across any digital channel and device.

"This will allow us to further improve our clients' media and creative effectiveness by maximising creative relevance when it matters most, helping them to win the battle of attention."

Gill started his advertising career with Publicis Groupe in London. He later founded iProspect's Edinburgh office and later became managing partner of Dentsu in 2016.

Few began his career in new business at Rainmaker Consulting in London, moving to sports marketing start-up Rush Sports Marketing and then Ogilvy as client director, before ultimately joining Gill at Dentsu in Scotland.

"We've had a global view on business since setting up, and with the scale a major network offers, Havas Media Group U.K. opens up a huge opportunity for us to build our offering in the U.K. and beyond. We're particularly excited by Paddy [Affleck] and the team's truly global outlook and joined up proposition," Gill said. "The Havas Village model enables media and creative to work hand in hand, in order to create the most meaningful outcomes for clients, something which is completely aligned with our own approach."

Havas declined to disclose the terms of the acquisition.

This story first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk. 

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