Agency, Consultancy to Offer Relationship Marketing Expertise
PARIS–Havas Advertising here and Andersen Consulting are expected to form an alliance in order to offer clients consulting expertise in relationship marketing, such as database management.
Said one source: “Andersen is extremely developed in areas of information management; Havas is an expert in marketing and communication.”
Executives at both companies said the two groups’ expertise complemented one another, even if “our respective corporate cultures are very different.”
An announcement of the partnership, which has not yet been named, could come this week. Sources said no equity or capital will exchange hands, at least in the short term.
The cooperative arrangement comes as management consultants have increasingly become involved with clients over strategic issues and brand building. This potential trend has unnerved some agencies, which feel threatened by those specialists just as Creative Artists Agency rankled the ad community when it began creating ads for Coca-Cola.
The Havas/Andersen operation will initially focus on European clients, though sources at both Havas and Andersen said the venture could be expanded to other regions should the marriage be successful.
About 20 people from both companies have been laying the groundwork for the partnership for nearly six months. Daily management will be led by Jean-Michel Lapisse, an associate partner at Andersen in Paris and Pierre de Perthuis, general director of Machine ˆ Vendre, a majority-held subsidiary of Havas Advertising, also in Paris, sources said.
Lapisse will report to Jacques Habib–an Andersen partner–while de Perthuis will be responsible to Alain de Pouzilhac, Havas Advertising chairman and chief executive.
“The operation is starting in Europe because it is behind the United States in this type of marketing,” said one source.
Another source said that proprietary data management tools had been developed by Andersen and Havas to help clients in this and other relationship marketing areas, including programs for data analysis, behavior modeling and cost center determination. One added that current Havas and Andersen clients had already been testing these tools.
The Andersen/Havas operation also plans to offer other loyalty marketing programs and cross-marketing systems. The venture could remain an experiment for up to two years.
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