All Eyes on Algeria for Havas North Africa
Havas is set to open a swanky new Havas Village in the Algerian capital of Algiers, following the acquisition of 49% stakes in two local agencies earlier this month. Creative and consultancy agency Ganfood and media agency HVS have been brought into the fold to supercharge the network’s inroads into the market.
Algeria is a particularly exciting prospect for Havas, explains Pascal Allard, CEO Havas North Africa and President of the Havas Village Alger. “[For Havas] Algeria will be the biggest market in North Africa, in front of Morocco and Tunisia.”
It’s also the largest country in Africa by land mass, and with 40 million people, the 9th largest population on the continent. In terms of young people, around 45% of the population is under 25, which also presents lots of opportunities. “Companies here are very dynamic and [there are] very exciting perspectives,” says Pascal of the energy.
As part of the deal, 1GANFOOD will become Havas Creative Alger and HVS will become Havas Media Alger. Cherif Medjaoui (Managing Partner of GANFOOD) will be Managing Director in charge of Creation at Havas Creative Alger and Isma Tifous (Managing Partner of HVS) will be Managing Director of Havas Media Alger. Both agencies, presided by Pascal Allard who is also CEO Havas North Africa, will form the Havas Village Alger
When the new Havas Village opens its doors, the new agency will automatically be the number five agency in the market, with launch clients including Peugeot, Lactalis, Emirates, Societe Generale, Sanofi, Heineken, LG, and Elle&Elle.
Pascal has been impressed by the leadership of both Ganfood and HVS – not to mention their energy and ingenuity. “These two companies are managed by young people, they have a start-up spirit, very creative and very efficient in the same time. Great team, dynamic, optimistic, curious, brilliant, courageous. Our relationship is a very nice story and finally a friendly story,” says Pascal.
And, creatively, the Ganfood team have hit the ground running. They’ve created launch films for the Peugot 301 and even won an internal pitch for their new family, Havas, which was organised by BETC, so they’ve already created an impression within the network.
More generally, Pascal reckons the creative from Algeria has a lot going for it. “Algeria is a mix between Arabic and European culture; it is a very open-minded culture, very rich, and it loves humour and entertainment.”