Havas Group today announced its acquisition of New York based digital agency The 88, a digital/social boutique agency that provides strategic direction, creative services, influence, event coverage, content creation and social media management to fashion, lifestyle and consumer brands.

Founded in 2010 by Harry Bernstein, The 88 has 2 offices in New York where its teams of culture hackers, creators and innovators make bold new things for the internet and beyond. The agency will become an extension of The Annex, Havas' cultural network dedicated to emerging consumers, and will be called The Annex88. Harry Bernstein is appointed Chief Creative Officer of Havas New York.

The 88 is unprecedented in their category and offers deep digital expertise, including Instagram, Snapchat, 3D and virtual reality, attracting globally recognized brands like adidas Originals, L'Oréal, Tailored Brands, MARS, Bacardi and Bloomingdale's. Using social media and innovation as the primary driver for brands, the agency has an uncanny ability to identify and leverage trends, working with world-renowned personalities, influencers, artists and musicians.

Yannick Bolloré, CEO Havas Group, said: "This acquisition brings The 88's keen expertise in digital strategy, creative, production, development, influence and event activation into Havas New York's already robust capabilities. Building on what Paul Marobella, Jason Peterson and Laura Maness have already implemented within Havas Creative in the US, this addition will enable us to deliver our clients with an unmatched service mix, and bring value to every part of the customer journey. I warmly welcome Harry and his teams on board."

"Our ambition is to be THE partner for the modern CMO. Social-first thinking, building community around brands and culture are critical to do that effectively. The 88 deal is exciting for us because it allows us to continue to break tradition on what it means to be a creative agency" added Paul Marobella, Chairman & CEO, Havas Creative US.  

For Harry Bernstein, founder and Executive Creative Director of The 88: "Seven years ago when I started The 88, I didn't set out to build a social media agency. I wanted to change advertising. I saw the emergence of bloggers (now called influencers) and social media as the future of how brands and their consumers would engage. It was the creative 'wild, wild, west' back then, and we were the cowboys. We just wanted to break how things were being done. I've learned a lot through this process-through breaking and making new things; some that worked and some that didn't. Most importantly, I learned that a great idea doesn't have to have a TV spot at the center; because with our consumer today, a great idea can start anywhere. So we need to think of everything. Every touchpoint. Every engagement. Working with Havas New York gives me the opportunity to do that". 

About Havas Group
Havas is one of the world's largest global communications groups. Founded in 1835 in Paris, the Group employs 20,000 people in over 100 countries. Havas Group is committed to being the world's best company at creating meaningful connections between people and brands through creativity, media and innovation. Based on a client-centric model across media and creative, the Havas Group is the most integrated company in its sector. We operate with three business units (creative, media and healthcare & wellness) within our Havas Villages all over the world where teams share the same premises ensuring agility and a seamless experience for clients.
Further information about Havas Group is available on the company's website: www.havasgroup.com

About Havas New York
Havas New York is one of three full-service Villages and the flagship agency of Havas U.S., a powerful network of creative agencies with the most modern capabilities and talented people in the business. At Havas New York, we are breaking tradition in our category to inspire and help progressive CMOs speak the modern language of advertising through culture, design and technology-creating a better, more meaningful consumer experience. Creatives are creators who deliver work designed to inspire conversation in the real world, not the advertising space. Learn more at our website: ny.havas.com, or follow us on Twitter @HavasNYC, Facebook and Instagram @HavasNYC.

About The Annex
Culture never sleeps. In order to be on the pulse of what's happening, you have to be part of it. That's why we created The Annex. Launched in Chicago, The Annex is a network focused on emerging consumers in the American economy, including millennials and centennials. Employees are comprised of creators, influencers and leaders who are not only fluent in contemporary conventions, but are also the architects and instigators of what's cool and important. Visit us at annexneversleeps.com, or follow us on Twitter @The_Annex_, Facebook and Instagram @The.Annex.


Lorella Gessa
Chief Communications Officer, Havas Group
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Delphine Maillet
Director of Investor Relations, Havas Group
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