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Endemol, Havas make digital pact

Company deals with ad agency for Spain alliance

MADRID — TV shingle Endemol and Gallic ad agency Havas, both giants in their own sectors, have inked a pioneering, exclusive strategic alliance to produce digital formats in Spain.

Unveiled Tuesday in Madrid, the interactive division of Endemol Spain will develop new formats for Internet, mobile TV and digital terrestrial TV.

Havas Entertainment will produce and finance the formats, drawing on its powerful portfolio of clients. Endemol will also create formats for Havas Media, the Barcelona-based arm that specializes in unconventional advertising.

First format under the deal will be “Bustamante, uno de los nuestros,” a shortform diary tracking seven months in the life of Spanish pop star David Bustamante, a discovery of Endemol’s “Fame Academy” TV reality show.

In post-production, “Bustamante” is produced by the new Endemol Digital Espana, which is developing dedicated digital content.

The big question is whether the Endemol-Havas deal can kickstart Spain’s still nascent digital content production sector.

In the first flush of new media creation, Spanish telco Amena paid E1 million ($1.3 million) in 2005 for Globomedia’s 40-mobisode “Supervillanos,” a sci-fi comedy that was the first series made for cell phones in Spain. Sales were disappointing, however.

According to Screen Digest’s Maria Aguete, “Supervillanos” failed “because consumers used mobiles for news, sports results and programs they were used to seeing, not new formats.”

Content coming out of the Endemol-Havas deal will be ad backed and free of charge, an Endemol Spain source said Tuesday.

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