by Herman Manson (@marklives) M&C Saatchi PLC has acquired Creative Spark to house conflict work from M&C Saatchi Abel and to boost digital skills within the South African group. The full-service digital agency and online publisher was launched by Matthew Buckland [see our interview with Buckland here] in 2010. Financial details of the deal have not been not disclosed.

Retain branding and management

M&C Saatchi logo M&C Saatchi PLC is using Creative Spark to house conflict work from sister agency, M&C Saatchi Abel, and retains its branding and management, continuing to operate as a standalone agency.

Creative Spark logoAccording to M&C Saatchi Abel chief executive partner, Mike Abel, his group isn’t normally an acquisitive one; it prefers starting new agencies from scratch and building them up organically.

In the case of Creative Spark, Abel says he found a smart operation with a diversified revenue stream, including a publishing operation (which publishes tech sites Memeburn, Gearburn, Ventureburn and motoring site Motorburn), consulting services and digital development skills. The agency specialises in digital strategy, content marketing, social media and web, mobile and app development.

Boost digital capabilities

The Johannesburg operation of Creative Spark is being used to boost M&C Saatchi Abel’s digital capabilities in that city, while in Cape Town it is being used to house conflict work.

Abel describes the relationship between M&C Saatchi Abel and Creative Spark as “apart and yet a part”. The publishing operations retains its editorial independence.

Buckland continues to lead Creative Spark, which currently employs 40 people in Cape Town and Joburg. Clients include Multichoice, eNCA, Naspers, Associated Media and a host of others.


Herman Manson 2105Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of He was the inaugural Vodacom Social Media Journalist of the Year in 2011 and has, over his 20-year-plus career, contributed to numerous journals and websites in South Africa and abroad, including AdVantage magazine, Men’s Health, Computer World and African Communications.



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