(Pictured L-R: Pin Dong, CFO Havas Creative Group Australia, Tracey Cain CEO HAdvisorsAPA, James Wright CEO Havas Creative Network Australia)
Havas has today announced the acquisition of Australian Public Affairs (APA), one of Australia’s most prominent and successful public affairs and strategic communications consultancies.
Founded 27 years ago by Tracey Cain, APA will become part of H/Advisors, Havas’s global strategic communications advisory network. This will be H/Advisors’ first owned operation in Australia and an important next step in its strategic growth plan across the APAC region. On closing, the firm will be renamed H/Advisors APA.
This acquisition is part of the continued investment in Havas’ capability across strategic communications and regulated environments. Working alongside other agencies in the network, H/Advisors APA’s leading, insight-driven strategic counsel will add important new expertise and geographic reach to the network’s global clients as they continue to expand across borders. It will also further strengthen Havas’ presence in Australia, adding new capabilities to better serve its clients.
The local leadership team that includes CEO Tracey Cain, deputy CEO Phil McCall, and CFO Kathryn Higgs will continue in their roles. H/Advisors APA will report into Group CEO of Havas Creative Network Australia, James Wright, while leveraging global connections and opportunities through the H/Advisors network and its leadership.
Says Yannick Bolloré, chairman and global CEO, Havas, and chairman, Vivendi: “APA as part of Havas and H/Advisors will enable us to further accelerate our plans for developing our public affairs, financial PR and strategic communications offering across the APAC region. We are delighted to welcome the talent, experience and smarts of Tracey and her team to our Havas family.”
Says Tracey Cain, chief executive officer of Australian Public Affairs and H/Advisors APA: “For nearly three decades, we have built APA as a high quality, evidence-based firm with expertise in regulated sectors and complex stakeholder environments. The logical next step for us is to partner with Havas and H/Advisors to expand the services offered and the reach of our client base. We have ambitious plans and are excited to take the next step with H/Advisors and the broader Havas Group.”
Says Wright: “As the Australian consulting landscape reforms amid recent crises, opportunity is emerging for strong, capable and values driven global challengers that bring local knowledge and smart thinking. With complementary skills and alignment, H/Advisors APA will be perfectly positioned to fulfil requirements of corporates, governments and NFPs in need of a new approach. We look forward to integrating Tracey and her team into the Havas Village in the coming months.”
Says Neil Bennett and Tom Johnson, global co-CEOs of H/Advisors: “Our group’s strategy of adding leading strategic communications advisory firms in the core financial capitals around the world and growing them continues with this exciting new partnership. Not only is APA widely respected as the leading public affairs agency in Australia, the firm’s platform and growth ambitions will play a critical role for us as we look to expand our presence throughout the APAC region.”
This announcement follows Havas November 2022 acquisition of health and pharmaceutical specialist Bastion Brands as part of a strategy to expand capability and increase the group’s specialist advertising and communications offering in the Australian market.
2023 has seen significant new client wins across the Havas Village Australia, including Netflix and VA Media for Organic; Taco Bell for One Green Bean; Ikea for Host Havas; Tourism Tasmania and Accolade Wines for Red Havas; Norco for Havas Blvd; and Red Bull and French Connection for Havas Media.