Vodacom loss 40% of Ireland/Davenport’s revenue
It’s too soon to confirm the number of staff affected at this stage. Napier says the agency will do everything it can to help affected staffers and to mitigate disruption at the agency — it has already reached out to Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, which will be taking over the account, on the possible placement of staff there.
According to Napier, delivering the news of the account loss was a devastating experience but that it’s the nature of the advertising business: agencies grow and contract as they win or lose business. Ireland/Davenport won the Vodacom business from Draftfcb South Africa (now FCB SA) in 2013.
Ireland/Davenport will be handing over the account to Ogilvy over the course of the next three months as it works off its notice period.
The announcement was unexpected and driven by Vodacom’s global head-office, say Napier, as it rationalises and consolidate costs. Ogilvy already handles Vodacom’s digital and retail portfolios.
Napier says the agency will now focus on rebuilding but does so off a secure foundation and with a decade of experience. She sees this as a challenging time but one that allows for the evolution of the business. She remains optimistic about its prospects, saying the agency has earned its reputation in the market.
The agency learned a lot through its work on the Vodacom business, says Napier, and wishes both the client and its new agency well for the future.
Ireland/Davenport continues to serve a range of clients, including BMW South Africa (which is currently in a mandatory pitch), Avis, Budget Car Rental, Plascon, Discovery and Fox International, among others.
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