Havas set to win £150m global Axa media business

LONDON - Axa Group, the French insurance giant, is set to appoint Havas Media to handle its estimated £150m global media planning and buying requirements across most markets in Europe and Asia.

Axa: set to win Axa's global media business
Axa: set to win Axa's global media business

Havas Media has had to pitch for the business independently in each local market, but a source confirmed Axa's intentions are "to consolidate where possible".

Havas Media already holds Axa's multi-million pound media business in France and Axa UK appointed Havas to manage its £40m media business in the UK today (7 August), the bulk of which was previously handled by WPP's Mindshare.

From 1 January 2010, Havas Media agencies will work on Axa's three divisions: Axa brand (MPG), Swiftcover (Arena BLM), AXA Sun Life (All Response Media and MPG).

The UK pitch process was led by Mark Craze, chief executive of Havas Media, and marks the first time the group of agencies have pitched as a collaborative force.

Craze, who became chief executive of Havas Media in the UK last year, joked: "It is the first time we've pitched as a group, so we have a 100% strike rate."

He added: "We used our full repertoire of brands and that is a very compelling offer. We put forward a multi-brand offering because Axa have multi-brands within their group."

The win is also expected to signal the start of Havas Media as a pitching force in its own right, with Craze noting: "We believe there are a number of clients in the UK to whom this group offer will be very attractive and in the future we will be targeting those clients."

In Asia-Pacific, Havas Media, led by MPG, has fought off competition from Mediaedge:cia, Madison, Universal McCann and Grey Media.

The UK review was run by Olivier Mariée, group marketing director at Axa UK who confirmed Havas Media is the "preferred provider" across all markets currently under review.

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