Havas has brought the curtain down on two of the biggest brands in the agency world by merging direct and digital agency AIS London with shopper marketing specialist Arnold KLP to create Field Day.
Arnold KLP can trace its roots back to 1973, when sales promotion experts Robin Kingsland, Colin Lloyd and Christian Petersen launched the agency as Kingsland Lloyd Petersen.
KLP tapped into the rising demand for promotional marketing and became the first multinational SP network, competing with the likes of IMP and the Marketing Store. The business was eventually sold to RSCG in 1990 for about £40m and became Euro RSCG KLP.
It merged with Arnold London and rebranded Arnold KLP in September 2010. Chief executive Hugh Treacy, who has been at the agency nearly 20 years – the past 15 in senior management roles – has left the business as a result of the merger. He had taken over sole responsibility for running the agency in July 2014 when Phil Bourne left.
AIS London was launched as Archibald Ingall Stretton in 1998 by Stuart Archibald, John Ingall and Steve Stretton, with minority backing from Havas. It was part of a second generation of start-ups which included the likes of Partners Andrews Aldridge, Kitcatt Nohr, Stephens Francis Whitson and Chemistry.
AIS grew exponentially on the back of winning the O2 account and also expanded into overseas markets, including offices in New York and Spain. All three founders left between 2010 and 2013 after Havas took up an option to buy the remaining stake and the agency reverted to the AIS London name.
The existing AIS management team – managing director Liz Barnsdale, executive strategy director Sarah Stratford, and executive creative director Geoff Gower and creative director Kevin Bratley – will sit on the management board of Field Day.
They will be joined by Arnold KLP creative directors Andrew Watkinson and Jon Moore and managing partner Gillian Arthur. It is understood the new entity will have around 80 staff, with fewer than ten redundancies as a result of the merger.
Havas Media Group UK & Ireland chief executive Paul Frampton said: “Field Day will bring customer-centricity to the heart of Havas Media Group. Combining their expertise in owned data, with the group’s media planning talent, and Havas SE Cake’s content and experiential capabilities, Field Day will enable client teams to create a more seamless and unified brand experience across the entire customer journey. This merging of skillsets is the realisation of our vision to bring data and content together to deliver marketing communications that are truly customer-led.”
Field Day’s combined client list includes Waitrose, Canon Europe, National Express, Cineworld, and Reese’s and Triumph.
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