Havas Communications is launching a new global agency network called Arnold Worldwide Partners. It will marry the Boston-based Arnold Communications with the existing six agencies of the Campus Network. The Campus name will be dropped.
The move fuels speculation about the future of Robin Wight, the chairman of WCRS and of Campus. Wight, who founded WCRS two decades ago, is understood to be seeking backers for a consultancy, preferring to go solo rather than play second fiddle to the chief executive of the new network, Ed Eskandarian. Wight did not comment on this speculation.
However, it is understood that Wight, 56, is already considering names for his consultancy, one of which is believed to be 'Robin Wight and Geniuses'.
The venture could be Havas-backed or linked to a rival holding company.
The network will comprise eight agencies across three continents, with Boston's Arnold as its lead agency. The European agencies, including Partners BDDH and WCRS, will include Rempen & Partners in Germany, devarrieuvillaret in France, Ata de Martini in Italy and La Banda in Spain. The network will also be represented by Age in Brazil, and Vickers & Benson in Canada.
Further acquisitions are being sought in the Far East and Australia.
WCRS, which has suffered a stream of account losses this year, and Partners BDDH will continue to trade as competing agencies in the UK.
The new network has no shared clients but significant conflicting car business: Arnold works with Volkswagen in the US, WCRS handles BMW in the UK and Partners BDDH handles Mercedes-Benz.
Havas bought Snyder Communications in February this year in a dollars 2.1 billion deal that brought Arnold, Brann Worldwide and Partners BDDH into its fold.
Eskandarian, the chief executive of Arnold Worldwide Partners, said: 'There is a new breed of international clients searching for the highest standards of creativity and the passion that comes from strong entrepreneurial agencies. This is the first network that gives clients that creativity with traditional network strength and cohesion.'
Alain de Pouzilhac, the chairman and chief executive of Havas Advertising, said: 'This partnership of highly creative agencies will fit the needs of our clients perfectly.'
Stephen Woodford, the chief executive of WCRS, added: 'Great partnerships are built on shared ambitions and values.'