Beau Jackson
Feb 13, 2024

Havas expands in B2B marketing with new acquisition

Ledger Bennett has been in B2B marketing for close to 40 years.

Patrick Affleck chief executive of Havas Media Network UK (left) and Ireland and Andrea Glenn (right), chief executive of Ledger Bennett plan expansion of Havas' B2B capabilities.
Patrick Affleck chief executive of Havas Media Network UK (left) and Ireland and Andrea Glenn (right), chief executive of Ledger Bennett plan expansion of Havas' B2B capabilities.

Havas has announced its acquisition of UK-based B2B marketing agency, Ledger Bennett.

Ledger Bennett is an SME operating in EMEA, APAC and North America, and has served clients across industrial, tech and services including GE Digital and LinkedIn, since 1985.

It operates using a “fluid talent” model, in which a member of the team sits within a client’s organisation to understand its processes, and work with them to achieve their marketing goals.

Havas Business will merge under Ledger Bennett, and rebrand as “Ledger Bennett, a Havas Company”.

The new entity will scale in the US and move into new markets, including expansion in APAC.

Andrea Glenn, chief executive of Ledger Bennett, said: “When we started this process, we wanted to disrupt B2B marketing. Our conversations with Havas have been energising, and there’s a palpable ambitious appetite to scale B2B within Havas Media Network and throughout Havas. 

“Havas is a great place to accelerate our growth with a combined offering of progressive B2B capabilities from Ledger Bennett and B2C firepower from Havas.”

Havas is reinforcing its B2B capabilities with the acquisition. It was launched under Havas Business in 2022 with clients including, among others, shipping and logistics business Maersk, and Reckitt Benckiser, parent company of consumer goods brands including Dettol, Strepsils and Veet.

Patrick Affleck, chief executive of Havas Media Network UK and Ireland, said: “I think what we have in Havas Business was the beginnings of something interesting, but what I needed to do was actually add further skills, scale and capability to it, particularly in the US, and I think this is where it all started to fall neatly into place.”

The B2B market is seen by Havas as a strategic growth area as the company cites LinkedIn figures that say two thirds (66%) of B2B marketers expect their budget to increase or stay the same over next 12 months.

Havas chairman and global chief executive Yannick Bolloré added: “We are excited to welcome Andrea, the Ledger Bennett team and its impressive list of clients into our Havas family. Bringing together marketing, sales, customer and product teams under the goal of maximising customer lifetime value is going to be critical for the best brands in the next five years. 

“Ledger Bennett brings a go-to-market solution to our Village that perfectly supports our One Havas strategy. The growth of B2B marketing continues to accelerate and will be important for B2B brands as well as B2C brands with B2B potential.”

As part of Havas, Ledger Bennett will benefit from access to the agency’s B2C expertise, which Glenn sees as a competitive advantage within the B2B marketing market.

Glenn said: “It's that level of complexity around data and analytics and tech that underpins a seamless buying experience [which] has been the thing over the last decade in B2B to really hang your hat on – but where the B2B world is going, we're seeing more B2C CMOs coming into B2B and looking at bigger and stronger branding capabilities in in B2B organisations.” 

Ledger Bennett is the latest deal in Affleck’s three-year acquisition strategy which has already included the addition of Search LaboratoryAdditive+ and Expert Edge (now Havas Market UK) in 2022.

Speaking about the strategy, Affleck said: “Nothing we ever do is competitive – we will never buy or acquire capabilities or an agency that is rivalling something we already do [it should add] further sophistication to an existing capability set.”

Campaign Asia

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