V&S acquired by Havas: A pivotal moment for crowdsourcing in advertising


The purchase by Havas of a majority stake in crowdsourced ad agency Victors & Spoils is a sign of a major shift in the advertising industry.

I have written several times before about crowdsourced advertising agency Victors & Spoils. V&S Founder and CEO John Winsor spoke at our Future of Crowdsourcing Summit, and I have since written about some of their lead work with Harley-Davidson and where they have taken that.

The big news today is that global advertising conglomerate Havas has taken a majority stake in V&S, also naming John Winsor as Chief Innovation Officer for the group.

John Winsor shares the history and background of the deal on his blog, saying:

In the last couple of years, I’ve had the chance to talk with some of the best thinkers about the future of advertising. Along the way I had the good fortune to meet David Jones. While many in the advertising industry talk the talk about innovation, very few walk the walk. David takes it one step further and runs the run. I was impressed not only by his vision for Havas and One Young World, but also by his bold philosophy outlined in Who Cares Wins. Every conversation we had flowed from a similar world-view that collaboration, co-creation and crowdsourcing are the future of not only advertising, but business itself; and that a deep dedication to becoming a social business can make the world a better place. We both believe that the new competitive advantage is a collaborative advantage.

From those conversations grew a vision to work together to create even more global cultural momentum for collaboration, co-creation and crowdsourcing. I believe that Victors & Spoils and Havas together can change the way advertising is done for both clients and creatives for the better.

The majority of the use of crowdsourcing in advertising until now has been done by smaller and niche agencies, with the larger agencies far slower to adopt the approaches, not least because so many of the executives they believe they have all the creative talent any client could ever possibly want.

Havas’s move is significant in indicating that it is seeking a significantly different operating and business model than has been the norm in advertising for many a long year now. It is very likely that the other major advertising groups will follow suit in taking on crowdsourcing approaches.

There are few other agencies in the space of real size and stature, so many will have to experiment and build their own ventures.

I will be focusing significantly on crowdsourcing for agencies over the coming period, and will be writing a lot more on some of the drivers of the uptake of crowdsourcing approaches by mainstream advertising groups, and what they experience along the way. It will be a fun and exciting odyssey to watch.

[This post originally appeared on the Getting Results From Crowds website]