Validation for the World’s First Creative Ad Agency Built on Crowdsourcing Principles

A new business model for ad agencies that combines the best of what a creative agency can do and the best of what crowdsourcing can offer.

Havas, a leading advertising holding group, sees enormous potential in a new model for advertising agencies. They have announced acquisition of Victors & Spoils, the world’s first creative advertising agency built upon crowdsourcing principles.

“When an industry goes through a revolution, you can either sit and watch it happen or embrace the exciting new business models at the forefront of that revolution. Victors & Spoils is one of those new models that is challenging our entire industry and I’m delighted to welcome them into the group. The client list they have been able to build in only 2 years is testament to the power of their model.” David Jones, CEO HAVAS

Victors & Spoils was co-founded in 2009 by John Winsor, Claudia Batten, and Evan Fry. The three had previous ties with the innovative advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The agency has a feel of a traditional agency. At its core is their creative department, made up of everyone from art directors and copywriters to strategists and producers. What is different with them is the crowdsourcing platform they work from to solve client’s strategic problems.

This new business model was successful and profitable for V&S very early on. They have acquired an impressive client roster which includes Chipotle, Coca-Cola, Converse, Crocs, Discovery Channel, Dish, GAP, General Mills, Harley Davidson, Levi’s, Mercedes Benz, Oakley, PayPal, Smartwool, Smashburger, Unilever, Virgin America and WD-40.

John Winsor, CEO of V&S,  will assume the key role of Chief Innovation Officer at Havas. One of his first responsibilities will be to grow their current creative crowdsourcing pool from 6,000 to a global network of 15,000 for Havas to use to crowdsource ideas.

Edward Boches, Chief Innovative Officer for Mullen, has been a supporter of John’s model and shares his perspecitve:

“Until now, most ad agencies have been threatened by Victors & Spoils. They’re perceived to undermine the value of individual creatives, diminish the role and impact of the creative director who hires and guides them, and convey to clients that there might be a better idea outside the walls of the agency.

But if, in the end, our job is to solve big problems, deliver the best and most effective idea, and leave no stone unturned in determining it, maybe we should all acknowledge that community, software, and yes, crowdsourcing techniques, are the way to go.”

From theory to reality:

“In this new era, beyond the brand, it is the creative citizens – the people and the brands – that will survive and thrive by co-creating from the bottom-up.” and “Brands that can make the transition to provide honest, original, cultural materials will win.” John Winsor

The following Victors & Spoils video communicates their new model in a way that is easily understood by prospective clients:

Additional articles that may be of interest:

John Winsor’s books include:

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. I agree with the benefits of crowd sourcing, but it’s nothing new. In the past many agencies, large and small, have use freelancers exclusively the same way.

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