Three-year contract, worth £4.9m, marks Havas’ second government win this summer.
Havas has won a competitive pitch for the government’s NHS Blood and Transplant account, spanning creative, customer experience and PR.
While there was no settled incumbent, 23red and Pablo have each produced work for NHS Blood and Transplant in the past few years. Further back, Engine created the award-winning “Missing Type” campaign that initially ran in 2016.
The pitch process was managed through the Crown Commercial Service Campaign Solutions 2 roster, on which Pablo (as a consortium with Unlimited) and 23red have places.
Three Havas agencies will work on the business, with Havas London handling creative, Havas CX Helia managing customer engagement and Red Havas on PR duties; with additional support from youth culture agency Livity.
Vicki Maguire, Havas London’s chief creative officer, said: “This is not ‘just another account’. This one saves lives. You don’t need to tell me that – as the partner of someone who received a lifesaving organ transplant, this one’s personal.”
Havas will also work closely with Manning Gottlieb OMD, which retained media planning for the account in March this year.
Demand for blood, plasma for medicine, platelets, organs, tissues and stem cells is expected to increase over the course of this year and next due to the NHS facing post-pandemic backlogs for operations and other medical procedures.
Havas is accordingly charged with building public awareness of the need for donation, boosting frequency of donations, increasing registrations and encouraging a more diverse donor base. The NHS has a target to recruit one million new blood donors in the next five years.
Campaigns will be designed to appeal to various demographics and ethnicities, including seeking to redress inequalities among black and South Asian communities. Havas and Livity’s first work will go live later in 2022, with plans also in place to launch a new brand platform and positioning in the first few months of 2023.
Recent work for NHS Blood and Transplant includes October 2021’s #ThisIsAmazing created by 23red, a campaign spanning TV and social media that aped social tricks and skills videos to show how amazing it is to save lives. In February 2021, Pablo’s “Leave them certain” film told the real-life story of Shivum Kakkad as he reminisces about his father, Bharat, who passed away in 2019.
Maguire added: “I’ve seen, up close, the heroic work NHSBT does, day in, day out, and I am so proud that Havas has been appointed.
“Donation is a nuanced, personal, one-of-a-kind brief, and we’ve brought together the best in brand comms, CX and PR to really comprehensively nail the entire donor journey.”
Helen Duggan, NHS Blood and Transplant’s assistant director of marketing and creative services, said: “Beyond Havas’ clear passion for NHSBT’s lifesaving work, their grasp of the donor journey and experience relevant to our work is second-to-none, and that’s why we are delighted to have them join us as our creative agency.”
The appointment marks the second government win for Havas, which retained the Department for Education’s teacher recruitment business in June following a competitive pitch.
NHS Blood and Transplant last issued a brief for creative, media and PR back in 2017.