Victors & Spoils, the controversial crowdsourcing resource positioned as an alternative to ad agencies, is teaming up with Havas, the parent of those more traditional shops like Euro RSCG, soon to be Havas Worldwide, and Arnold Worldwide.
The Paris-based holding company said it acquired an undisclosed majority stake in V&S. The Boulder, Colo., agency was founded in 2009 by former Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s executive director of strategy and innovation John Winsor and creative director Evan Fry along with Claudia Batten, a co-founder of gaming advertising network Massive. Terms of the Havas deal are not disclosed.
Winsor remains CEO at V&S and adds the role of chief innovation officer at Havas. The rest of V&S’s management team remains unchanged and will continue to own a minority stake in the agency. In 2010 Kirshenbaum Bond co-founder Jon Bond also became an investor in V&S, buying a stake of undisclosed size. Bond has since become CEO of social media agency Big Fuel in which Publicis bought a majority stake last summer. Bond now has to sell his V&S stake, given the conflict with the rival French holding companies.
In a blog post today, Winsor said that in the last couple of years he’s had the chance to talk to people like Havas chief David Jones about the future of advertising. He said that out of those conversations they discovered they shared a “similar worldview that collaboration, co-creation and crowdsourcing are the future not only of advertising but business itself.”
Industry critics of crowdsourcing argue the output is largely cut-price mediocre work.
One of the earliest marketers to utilize V&S in 2010 was Dish Network CMO Ira Bahr who said he was attracted to the “wider range of creative thought with a crowd” from V&S, but he allowed that a big part of the appeal was the fact that “I also feel that I pay less for it.”
Aside from Dish, V&S has handled projects for Chipotle, Coca-Cola, Converse, Discovery Channel, GAP, General Mills, Harley Davidson, Levi’s, Mercedes Benz, PayPal, Unilever and Virgin America.