Chen Inbar, Israel Village CEO and Chairman of Inbar Merhav G, Havas Group’s latest acquisition in Israel, tells Dare! about the full-service agency and the opportunities it brings to our global network.
Can you tell us about Inbar Merhav G and its history?
I founded this lovely company in 2000. I was 34, quite naïve and very ambitious! I started the business myself and I was shooting three pointers and running inside to rebound. Over the years, IMG grew to be one of the ten leading agencies in Israel in size and of course, in quality.
Today we are great team of 60, who offer advanced media and creative services. Most of our clients are leading local clients, among them some global brands like Nissan and Apple and leading local companies in retail, insurance, travel, food and more. Havas Group has added important global clients, among them RB, JDE, Hyundai Kia, and Swarovski.
Inbar Merhav G and Havas Group have a long relationship. Can you tell us about it?
Our relationship began in 2012. Most of the bigger agencies in Israel already had an affiliation or a partnership with global companies and the market was becoming more and more global. Havas Group interviewed several agencies and our partner Yaron Merhav was very eager to win Havas.
I can honestly say he was the engine all the way. Havas have chosen us and we have chosen them. Over time, working very close with Alberto Canteli (CEO and Chairman Havas Group Nordics, CEE, Middle East and SEA), we realised the time had come to get married!
How will the partnership complement both parties moving forward?
As the world becomes more and more global, we believe that more accounts will be managed by global companies. So, it’s good for us to be a part of a company like Havas Group. For Havas, it’s good to have the best company in every country. If the local company doesn’t provide the global clients with a great service, the clients will not stay.
I think what is important for us and for Havas in building this partnership was the fact that we built very strong young management before joining forces. Our co-CEOs, Or Gleicher and Ben Sever, are managing Inbar, one from the creative side and one the planning and the client management side. Both have shares and they are here to stay. We built a stable future generation. Together we have the motivation to create a bigger and better company.
What makes the Israeli market unique?
Israel is not that small. Israel’s population is similar to medium-sized European countries, like Sweden or Austria. It is a country of 9 million people so it’s an important market.
Israel is ahead of many larger markets in terms of technology; there are so many high-tech companies and particularly a lot of ad tech. Israel is quite a young country and the average age is about 30, so it’s a very digital country. In partnering with Inbar Merhav G, Havas has become closer to the local AdTech industry.