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Havas Group to form partnership with China’s Guangdong Advertising

Havas Group has stepped up its presence in China by signing a joint-venture with marketing communications group Guangdong Advertising Group.

The Paris-headquartered holding group will own 51 per cent of the re-named Havas GIMC Advertising Co, which will run as an integrated media and creative agency based in Shanghai. Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Guangzhou, GIMC has more than 110 member companies and the largest footprint in Greater China.

The group has 300 clients on its roster, including Dongfeng Nissan, China Mobile and China Telecom, among others.

Last week, chief executive Yannick Bollore discussed the impending deal in an interview with Mumbrella Asia. He said: “China will become the largest ad market in the world so we are looking to find scale there through acquisitions and partnerships. We want to find a strong local partner and we are expecting to finalise such a deal this year.”

He added: “You have to fish where the fishes are and the vast majority of the international headquarters of our clients are located in these places.”

Havas Group previously strengthened its ties in Asia with the acquisition of the agency RiverOrchid, which gave the holding company access to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The agencies Havas Media, Havas Creative and Havas Sports & Entertainment China also have offices Beijing and Shanghai.

GIMC chairman Chen Tianlong said: “I’m very excited about this partnership. China is not only a scale market, but also a speed market. The joint-venture will leverage creativity, expertise and tools from Havas, and the buying clout and the widest service footprint from GIMC.

“With this, we can best deliver the scale and the speed needed for our client businesses. More importantly, this joint-venture will be, on the back of Havas global network, the first China based agency with a network dedicated to supporting the international expansion of Chinese companies and bring more Chinese brands globally.”

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