by Herman Manson (@marklives) The MTN account is currently in its second round after it went out to pitch on 9 March 2016, when MTN Group, on behalf of its 22 operating companies and the Group Management Services business, commissioned a tender for an integrated agency. Only three global agency networks are still involved in the process.

Still in the running

Global holding agencies including Dentsu Aegis Network, Havas, Interpublic Group, Omnicom, Publicis and WPP (WPP-owned MetropolitanRepublic currently holds the MTN account) participated in the first round of the process. Interpublic Group, Dentsu Aegis Network and Havas have all since withdrawn, leaving only Omnicom, Publicis and WPP in the running.

In an update on the tender process, MTN Group says the Request For Proposals (RFP) that commenced earlier this year is still in progress.

“After the first round, a second round was undertaken to ensure that specific business requirements, as part of the strategic planning process, were considered by participants in a manner that was execution-ready,” details a statement issued by the group. “MTN has collaborated with all the holding company participants, as well as the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA), on the requirements for the second round, where all have agreed this is a critical step.

“Evaluation process has commenced”

“The outcome of the first round will be an input into the final assessment which has been received positively by all. Submissions from the additional round have been received from participants, and formal presentations have been concluded. The evaluation process has commenced, the output of which will follow the standard MTN Procurement process.”

The second round required execution-ready submissions, based upon the output of the strategic-planning process.

As to when the process will be completed, the statement continues: “While we are moving with pace, given the high priority for the business, it will be with the due diligence and governance required of the standard MTN Procurement process. We acknowledge the passion and commitment of the participants in driving the progressive operating model of an integrated agency across MTN Group, its 22 operations, business units  and functions. Further, we wish to thank each of the holding companies for working towards our intended diversity agenda across Africa and the Middle East.”


Herman MansonHerman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of He was the founding editor of media.toolbox (1998–2006) and Mobile.Works, and the co-founder of Brand magazine. He has served on the editorial boards of The Journal for Convergence, as well as of Fast Company South Africa. Winner of the 2011 Vodacom Social Media Journalist of the Year award, he was also a finalist twice in the Highway Africa Award for the Innovative Use of New Media in Africa (2003 and 2004). Over his 20-year-plus career, Herman has contributed to numerous journals and websites in South Africa and abroad, including the Mail & Guardian, .net, Intelligence, AdVantage, Men’s Health, Computer World and African Communications. He has consulted on web architecture to several financial institutions.

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