New Havas offers full service as Aegis rebadges agency Huckleberry

Mike Wilson and Anthony Gregorio

Mike Wilson and Anthony Gregorio

Aegis Media has today announced the launch of Huckleberry, bringing together the clients and staff previously serviced by Havas Media and digital agency Rodeo as the French-owned agency gets set to launch independently.

Havas Media this morning confirmed Mumbrella’s previous reports about the Australian relaunch of its media arm after the local deal with Aegis Media expired last month.

The new operation is headed by former Naked Communications boss Mike Wilson, and was first tipped by Mumbrella back in September.

In the wake of the changes Aegis has rebranded its 60 person Melbourne operation with Melissa Roberts as managing director of media and Aaron Tobin as managing director of creative.

“Huckleberry is built on strong people and teams, bringing together two agencies with strength in media and digital creative services to form one fully integrated full service offering,” said Roberts.

“As separate agencies, our approach to building communications solutions for clients was very much in line.  Together, we have a very strong offer in combining the digital and creative expertise of Rodeo with the media and strategic clout of my team.”

Huckleberry’s clients will include Medibank Private, ME Bank, Madman Entertainment and Funtastic.

New CEO of the Havas Media Mike Wilson said he believes the agency can carve out a unique position in the market by offering both media and creative options.

“There are already too many media agencies but they are already occupying one position. Our intention is to create a new relevant media agency that will be differentiated from the rest of them,” Wilson told Mumbrella.

“The luxury and the opportunity we have is that we are starting from the ground up and have a relatively blank piece of paper and there are a number of areas we are going to be investing our time and resources into, for example digital which will be at the heart of the agency. It will not be a bolt on.”

Anthony Gregorio, group CEO of Havas Worldwide Australia said this was a return to a old style of working by having both media and creative under one roof, but added his and Wilson’s relationship would ensure there were no turf wars.

“I think it is a return to the full service”, said Gregorio,”but Mike and I have a simple no nonsense approach to working with each other.”

“One of the biggest things that will work in our favour is a collaborative approach, with all due respect to some of our competitors. We all know, a lot of those who are bundled in the existing multinational organisations with media don’t work well together,” he said.

Wilson said that while his new 12 person operation would be returning to full service it would do so with a modern focus and approach.

“I have spent a number of years fighting against some of the issue that used to exist in what used to be called full service agencies,” said Willson, “but what we are building is a new model that is relevant in the 21st Century, incorporating digital, social-centric marketplace where ideas and channel recommendations will be fully integrated.”

Havas’ foundation clients will include LG and Emirates.

Nic Christensen 


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