Havas Consumer Health Germany: Better Knowledge Means Better Health

The agency is empowering consumers to make informed decisions about their health

кем India Fizer , AdForum

Dirk Poschenrieder
Managing Director Havas Consumer Health Germany

Havas recently launched Havas Consumer Health (HCH), a consumer health unit which specializes in over the counter (OTC) health and wellness brands. Dirk Poschenrieder, previously managing director at Havas Life and Havas Red Health in Düsseldorf, is the new managing director in Germany for Havas Consumer Health. 

HCH is the first omni-channel consumer healthcare agency. With the belief that better knowledge means better health, Havas Consumer Health connects consumers and clients to create a personalized focus on self-care, self-management and empowerment.


Congrats on your new role! Can you tell us a bit about Havas Consumer Health and its service offerings for clients?

The consumer healthcare market generally offers a variety of healthcare services and products that consumers choose to buy and use themselves, without the need for a specific medical prescription and this is our definition of the market we want to work in. As an agency, we want to work with clients across a range of categories, including skin and body care, functional foods, baby care, contraception, menopause, men's health, naturopathy, wearable tech, vitamins and supplements, OTC and more.

Our aim is to empower people with the knowledge they need to make informed, personalized decisions about their health. Because we believe that better knowledge means better health

What we, as Havas Consumer Health, bring to the table, is, that we combine the experience and deep understanding of health and wellness marketing of Havas Health & You with the creative and consumer-focused excellence of the Havas Creative Network. With Havas Consumer Health, we are finally bridging the gap between traditional health and consumer advertising and putting an end to silo thinking, which happens very often in our industry. This sets us clearly apart from our competitors and makes us unique. We therefore see great potential and demand in the market for us. 

We’ve seen that many other major brands in the pharmaceutical sector have made similar moves on the client side. Pharmaceutical companies such as GSK and Johnson & Johnson have spun off their consumer health units with Haleon and Kenvue respectively. From an agency perspective, this is the logical response to the changing landscape.


There have been significant technological advancements in health tech and wearables in recent years, shifting the way people think about their health and wellness. In what ways does HCH advise clients on these tools?

The use of digital technologies in healthcare has increased dramatically. This includes health apps, wearables such as fitness trackers and smartwatches. These technologies have helped consumers better monitor and manage their health. At the same time, consumers themselves are becoming more health conscious. They are now better informed and actively seeking ways to improve their health and prevent disease. 

To help our customers use these technologies effectively, we offer tailored advice. Ultimately, our goal is to empower individuals to optimize their health outcomes through the strategic use of health technologies and wearables. But remember that we are an advertising agency first and foremost.

The health and wellness sector is flourishing, and propelled by innovation. This period is filled with even more groundbreaking digital advancements on the horizon in the years ahead. A wonderful example that has nothing to do with consumer health, but more than illustrates the benefits of 'new technologies', is the campaign by Newcastle United football club to develop 'Sound Shirts' for deaf fans so that they can really feel the atmosphere in the stadium. What a great idea it is!


What kind of trends are you seeing in the consumer healthcare market and how does HCH anticipate them shifting in the next few years? 

We are witnessing a rising interest in preventive and proactive healthcare as individuals acknowledge the significance of maintaining good health and preventing illnesses. This involves regular health screenings, check-ups, and lifestyle adjustments aimed at disease prevention. Mental health awareness is also gaining significant traction, with a heightened recognition of mental health issues and a prioritization of mental well-being. This includes actively seeking therapy, practicing mindfulness, and adopting stress-reduction techniques to enhance mental health.

Lastly, there is a growing emphasis on nutrition and wellness as people acknowledge the profound impact of diet and lifestyle on overall health. This involves integrating more plant-based foods, supplements, and alternative therapies into their healthcare regimens.


Can you give us an example of a campaign that successfully tackles modern consumer healthcare needs?

I’m in love with Dove's latest “Let’s #KeepBeautyReal” campaign. For many years Dove's campaigns always disrupted beauty stereotypes by showcasing women of diverse shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnic backgrounds. It urged women to celebrate their innate beauty, igniting discussions on self-esteem and body positivity.

In terms of strategy and content, this campaign follows the "Real Beauty Campaign" and runs like a red thread through the entire communication. And that for 20 years already. 

Let’s #KeepBeautyReal takes a socially critical look at the topic of "AI and artificial beauty" and the self-optimization mania that often takes place on social media platforms such as Instagram and which is putting more and more people, and in this case women in particular, under pressure. And of course, it is a bold but consistent statement to commit to not using AI in advertising when it comes to the portrayal of women.

As an advertiser, it would be a dream come true to be able to work on an advert like this once in a lifetime.