Havas acquires TP1

Founder Jan-Nicolas Vanderveken takes over as president in Montreal as Havas boosts its digital strength in Quebec.

Helen&Jan_Nicolas

Havas Group has acquired Montreal digital agency TP1, with its founding partner Jan-Nicolas Vanderveken becoming the president of Havas Worldwide Montreal.

The acquisition kills two birds with one stone for Havas’ operations within Canada. Not only does it fill a leadership role in Montreal following the departure of Ann Bouthillier last year, it also scales up the agency’s footprint and digital capabilities within the Quebec market.

“The TP1 name will be gone, but their legacy and history will remain,” says Helen Pak, CEO and CCO of Havas Worldwide Canada. “There’s a mission within the Havas Group to invest in Canada as a whole, which we saw with the Plastic Mobile acquisition last year, so this is another step in that. To have this kind of deep bench strength in digital and to have it in Quebec is going to be key for us as part of our integrated offering going forward.”

In addition to helping Havas grow its business in Quebec, Pak says strengthening its existing Montreal digital team will have benefits for existing regional clients, such as Couche-Tard and Jean Coutu, as well as those looking for solutions on a national scale. She adds that the acquisition will also help differentiate its offering within the Quebec market.

“In Quebec, we see some agencies that offer some digital capabilities, or else they are pure-play digital agencies that don’t offer integrated capabilities,” Pak says. “We wanted to make sure we’re well-armed in terms of being able to provide whatever the group of needs are for any of our clients.”

Vanderveken helped found TP1 in 2005, and has since done digital work for clients including TVA, Lancome and Naya Waters, as well as CASSIES-winning work for Loto-Quebec’s Mise-o-jeu. Vanderveken is also active within the broader advertising community within Quebec, currently serving as a member of the board with A2C.

“Jan-Nicolas is such a thought-leader in Quebec’s digital space,” Pak says. “He’s been a big advocate of digital thinking and tech in that market, and that’s led to a solid reputation for him and TP1 as a whole.”

Last year, TP1 had a number of new hires in response to several new business wins, including being named digital AOR for Fromagerie Bel Canada for its Boursin, Babybel and La Vache qui rit (Laughing Cow) cheese brands. Pak says TP1 has roughly 40 staff, all of which are expected to make the move over to Havas, which will double the agency’s headcount in Montreal.

Also announced today is the hiring of Sébastien Moïse as Havas’ VP of client services in Montreal. Moïse has been GM at Montreal’s Alfred for the last two years, and previously led the Quebec Lexus and national Canada Dry Mott’s accounts as group account director at DentsuBos. He has also worked at Mosaic and has client-side experience in the marketing departments at Fido and Parmalait.

“He has a great history as well, an amazing track record of bringing new business to Alfred quite successfully,” Pak says, adding that his experience with integrated campaigns will make him a good fit with Vanderveken on the leadership team in Montreal.