How will the re-branding to Havas affect Euro's creative identity in India?

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | September 26, 2012
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The global agency brand 'Euro RSCG Worldwide' has been re-branded as 'Havas Worldwide'. What impact will this have on Euro's creative identity in India? afaqs! finds out.

The global agency brand 'Euro RSCG Worldwide' has been re-branded to 'Havas Worldwide'. The change, announced in March, has come into effect a couple of days ago. The change applies to all Euro RSCG agencies across the world, including in India, where 'Euro RSCG India' will now be called 'Havas Worldwide'.

Satbir Singh

How will this change affect Euro's creative identity in India? Satbir Singh, managing partner and chief creative officer, Havas Worldwide tells afaqs! that though so far 'Euro' was a stronger brand name in India, now that it ceases to exist, 'Havas' is catching on quickly. "Havas' meaning in Hindi has inadvertently helped make this new identity a viral hit," Singh laughs.

On a more serious note, he says, "Ours is a small industry and new identities get around fast. It is not a mass market brand; as an agency, it is a niche market brand that exists in a relatively small marketplace. Thus, as far as the client and pitch fronts are concerned, we will continue to operate in the same 'agency consideration set' as before."

Partha Sinha

K V Sridhar

Nakul Chopra

Abhijit Avasthi

Minakshi Achan

afaqs! asks industry experts whether the creative identity of Euro could be affected as a result of this change and if so, how. The question has generated mixed reactions from the Indian ad industry. While some feel the agency was better off as Euro, others feel the Havas brand name will bring better fortune. Then there are those who opine that either way, it is the people running the agency that matter, not the name.

Partha Sinha
Managing partner, BBH

I think it's a very smart move to get rid of the word 'Euro' from the brand name. Who wants to be associated with a weakening currency? You don't want your brand name to immediately remind people of the impending doom in the global economy.

On a serious note, I'd say this re-branding to Havas will not have any impact on Euro's creative reputation, because firstly, the people in the industry have known about this change for a while and secondly, as long as the people, value system and talent at the agency are the same as they were earlier, a change in the name won't make a difference.

K V Sridhar
National creative director, Leo Burnett

An advertising agency re-branding will never affect it because agencies are not public brands that are consumed based on their brand name. An ad agency is about the people. As long as the same people are there nothing can change. Bates with Mohammad Khan in it is viewed as Enterprise; Bates without Mohammad Khan in it is viewed as Bates! That's the extent to which he represented Enterprise. It is all personality-driven and people-driven.

Tomorrow, if JWT changes its name it won't matter but if Bobby and Colvyn aren't there it will matter. Similarly, if Leo Burnett changes its name, nothing will change but if Arvind and I are not there, then the perception of Leo Burnett will change. People will then view the agency in a different way. For agencies, it works the way it does for law firms.

Nakul Chopra
Chief executive officer, Publicis Communications, South Asia

I don't think this change to Havas, the holding company's name, will have any major impact on the agency.

Yes, the change from Euro to Havas may have a positive impact in Europe; in that region Havas is a very well-known brand.

As far as India is concerned I think the impact will be neutral. I don't think this decision was taken keeping India in mind. So this line of questioning regarding the impact of this change on the agency's creative identity and clients is like making a mountain out of a molehill. It is not such a big event.

Abhijit Avasthi
National creative director, Ogilvy India

My sense is that the agency was better off as Euro. In India, I don't think Havas has any creative standing, so in a way it'll be like building credentials from scratch. Over the last few years Euro has been doing some nice work. So, I am wondering whether that will get washed out or not, post this re-branding.

Minakshi Achan
Co-founder, Salt Brand Solutions

The change in name from Euro to Havas is not going to affect the agency's creative identity. Lintas became Lowe, Ogilvy & Mather became Ogilvy. Life goes on! It is another re-branding exercise and is not really going to affect the creative identity of Euro here unless there are sweeping changes in leadership and unless it affects relationships internally and externally.

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