Spanish ad holding company Havas is creating a digital media R&D division intended to synthesize the insights and capabilities of venture capitalists, agency executives, marketers and others whose roles intersect with digital media, InfluxBranding reported (via AgencySpy). Dubbed the Havas Media Lab, the unit will be headed by Umair Haque, a London-based Harvard Business School blogger who runs a consultancy called Bubblegeneration.
Writing on his blog, Haque is fairly vague about his vision, promising to post more details later. He did provide some reason for its existence: “The Lab happened because I don’t think any of the standard models – venture funds, corporates, firms, etc – can really make it happen (or else it would be happening).” He added that the unit will be made up of individuals with whom he has previously worked.
— Adweek: Haque’s promises of something new notwithstanding, just about all the other holding companies have started this kind of “futures planning” practice. Most prominent examples include Interpublic Group’s Futures Marketing Group, which which oversees the IPG Emerging Media Lab; WPP Group has WPP Digital, which manages new media investments for interactive shops like companies like Spot Runner, Invidi and Jumptap; and Publicis Groupe has Denuo, which guides start-ups it has a stake in on the appropriate ad models that fit their abilities.