The Lux List / Finance

Havas becomes next major advertising group to jump on blockchain bandwagon

Havas Group has become the latest major player in advertising to invest in the blockchain industry after signing a partnership with a French crypto-consulting firm.

Apr 05, 2018 | By LUXUO

Havas Group has recently followed in the footsteps of other global networks jumping on the crypto-currency bandwagon by founding a communications agency dedicated to helping companies reach Initial Coin Offerings. According to Mumbrella Asia, this comes as part of their deal with French company Blockchain Partner, which will provide strategic, technical and legal advice to the new operation.

The Havas Blockchain division will work with AMO, the group’s collective of corporate and financial consultancies, which have stronger reaches in international markets such as Korea, Japan and Singapore. The blockchain arm will be overseen by Havas Paris consultant Fabien Aufrechter whereby their commitment to blockchain will be in the form of tokens acquired by the parent company. Their first ICO has already been earmarked for spring 2018 with freelancer network Talao.

“As a leader in financial communications, Havas Paris is the natural go-to agency for ICOs, which are set for significant growth,” said Aufrechter in the article. “This new field of financial communications, aimed at both traditional investors and the cryptocurrency community, will rely more specifically on community engagement, social media and public relations.”

This strategic move from Havas is part of a larger movement by traditional advertising and media companies to be involved in the blockchain sphere and leverage the benefits of the new technology. Traditionally utilised in the world of finance, blockchain employs a digital ledger of economic transactions in a decentralised network.

Mindshare has become one of the first media agencies in Asia to adopt the technology into programmatic trading. The group’s brand new programmatic trade desk Truth is also expected to start rolling out in Asia in due course.

Some dissenting voices have thrown cold water on the idea of using blockchain to solve the advertising industry’s transparency issue. Iponweb’s APAC marketing director Gabe Ingalls told Mumbrella that: “The bigger issue blockchain will address is trust and transparency between advertisers and the agency. But it’s still insufficient to the challenge and needs of the real-time ad ecosystem, which currently processes several million transactions in milliseconds. Recording every impression traded is unlikely to get global adoption given the limitations of the technology.”

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