Real Time and Evans Hunt Scott merger deal

Digital design consultancy Real Time Studio is merging with fellow Havas-owned company Evans Hunt Scott, a direct marketing group. The new £63m digital communications group, which formally launches in three months time, will be called EHS:Realtime.

EHS:Realtime will be set up as a one-to-one digital communications specialist, eventually consisting of 300 staff. Real Time plans to expand its 105 staff to 120 before the union, while EHS employs 170 staff.

The group will retain its shared offices in London’s Soho Square. Its board will be chaired by Evans Hunt Scott founder Terry Hunt, with Real Time Studio founder and managing director Phil Jones becoming vice-chairman. The rest of the board is of EHS extraction.

Jones describes the vision as setting up a “new marketing” group. For the first time in a consultancy, says Jones, creative teams will consist of not only an art director and a copywriter, but also a new media director.

Both companies approached French parent group Havas for approval of the merger last December, and were asked to submit a full proposal.

“Digital will not be a bolted on department. It will be at the heart of the company,” says Jones.

“The EHS creative directors are experts in customer relationship marketing and ours have the new media and design expertise.

“They have digital media clients but their strength is in providing strategy rather than design. In the past they have needed to work with outside groups on new media projects,” he adds.

EHS has not had an interactive arm since November 1998, when its subsidiary Zinc became independent.

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