The French PR firm, Havas Group, has entered the blockchain fray with the announcement of Havas Blockchain. The launch is in partnership with Blockchain Partner, a leading French blockchain transformation consultancy. The startup has backing from AMO, Havas Group’s global partnership of corporate and financial communications consultancies.
This represents a bold step for a Group that owns one of the world’s top ten advertising agencies, has a significant brand and brought in €2,276m in 2016. Both the potential failure of the venture and risk of association with bad actors in the infamous ICO space could cause notable brand damage to the French company.
Havas Blockchain joins Transform Group and Wachsman in the competing space of blockchain PR. Both the incumbent companies cater to multiple areas of FinTech activity. These range from global exchanges and celebrity ICOs to novel social media platforms. They’re advisors to huge crypto names like Ethereum, Kraken, and Dash.
Havas intends to focus initially on advising ICOs which they believe are ‘sustainable’. Noting the bad actors in the crypto space, Havas wishes for ‘serious and qualitative projects’ that conform to their Ten Commandments.
The checklist includes the usual demands of compliance, a professional white paper, and ready-for-market project. Apart from these, Havas also demands a strict non-fiat policy during the fundraising, an international design, and a tokens-as-fee mechanism. The mechanism is designed to align the interests of Havas and the ICO. After all, a successfully marketed ICO will benefit both parties when the price of the crypto increases.
A part of the Commandments is the prerequisite of a public blockchain which Havas believes follows the principles of decentralisation.
Havas expects their first ICO to go live in Spring 2018 with Talao, a decentralized marketplace for freelancers in the industrial and technology sectors.