2016 Big Reads: The big account moves of 2016
by Herman Manson (@marklives) We list the most-read-about account pitches and new business wins on MarkLives during the course of 2016. It was a big year — Barclays Africa, Edcon, MTN, Chicken Licken, PnP, to name only a few!
The Barclays Africa pitch
EXCLUSIVE: Barclays Africa Group out to pitch in mid-2016.
Barclays Africa Group put its advertising account out to pitch. This consisted of almost its total portfolio, except for sponsorship, brand design and internal change management. Absa spends more than R429m on advertising and marketing activities in South Africa alone, according to Nielsen’s AIS/Adindex ranking (2014).
FCB Africa emerged as the winner of the consumer component of the Barclays Africa Group advertising account. It beat off Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, DDB South Africa, the Publicis group and a collective of agencies pulled together by the incumbent, The Jupiter Drawing Room (Jhb).
Mortimer Harvey won the business-to-business component of the Barclays Africa Group ad account. The agency has had a long-standing relationship with Absa, spanning 14 years. It used to worked upon the consumer business in a retail capacity; but this has moved to FCB Africa. The B2B win has meant no staff have had to be retrenched.
In a statement released to MarkLives, Graham Warsop, founder and chairman of The Jupiter Drawing Room, said was no secret that the loss of Absa, an anchor client of Jupiter (Jhb) for the last decade, would have a marked effect upon the agency. The agency initiated a voluntary retrenchment programme and details of its future strategy post-Barclays are expected to be announced in early 2017.
The Edcon pitch
Edcon account out to pitch as uncertainty looms
Edcon went out to pitch as uncertainty loomed around the future of the retail giant. With the account estimated to be worth R150m a year, the major networks actively pursued the business. However, questions were asked about Edcon’s sustainability after it deferred interest payments of about R1.6bn on bonds issued to mature in 2018.
Young & Rubicam South Africa won the Edgars advertising account and independent agency, Promise, won Edcon’s Speciality division — which includes Edgars Active, Red Square, Boardmans, CNA and Edcon Cellular. Y&R SA, alongside specialist shopper agency, Y&R Labstore, and full-service digital partner, NATIVE VML (VML is part of the Y&R network), took over the account from incumbent, M&C Saatchi Abel.
Edcon finally issued a statement confirming its new agency appointments, including those of Y&R, Promise Brand Specialists (Promise) and The Publishing Partnership (TPP) as its new advertising partners for Edgars Division, Specialty Division and Edgars and Jet Club Magazine publishing, respectively.
Edcon announced the appointment of Joe Public as the advertising partner for Edcon’s Discount Division (Jet and Jet Mart), the current agency for the Discount Division’s ATL marketing. As the lead agency, Joe Public has now assumed additional advertising functions including BTL, digital advertising and PR for the Discount Division.
The MTN pitch (ongoing*)
Networks pitching for MTN
One of Africa’s biggest telco brands, MTN, has been out to pitch, with major global agency networks invited by MTN to participate in the pitch process, rather than individual agencies. MTN invited Dentsu Aegis Network, Havas, Interpublic Group, Omnicom, Publicis and WPP to participate in the pitch. IPG declined to pitch (it holds Cell C through FCB Africa), and Havas and Dentsu Aegis Network withdrew early in the process.
The MTN account went into a 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, Omnicom, Publicis and WPP, are still involved in the process.
*At the time of going to press.
Chicken Licken left BBDO!
BREAKING: Chicken Licken leaves Net#work BBDO after 13 years
Net#work BBDO lost the Chicken Licken account after holding it for 13 years. Mike Schalit, group creative officer at Net#work BBDO, said the move away from his agency, which took effect at the end of June 2016, had been on the cards for some time, allowing the agency to plan ahead and avoid any retrenchments. The late Chicken Licken founder and MD, George Sombonos, gave the agency the fast-food business more than a decade ago, having known agency co-founder, Keith Shipley.
For more on the backstory, see Mike Schalit on the making of Net#work BBDO
Chicken Licken appointed Joe Public after parting ways with its agency of the last 13 years: Net#work BBDO. Joe Public holds the entire account, effective 1 July 2016; it is one of the agency’s top three pieces of business.
For the first ad by the new agency, see Joe Public drops new Chicken Licken TVC
PnP moved to King James
Pick n Pay moved its advertising account to King James Group, bringing an end to its roughly 48-year-long relationship with Y&R SA. The news was announced via Twitter.
It was a defining relationship for both client and agency, said the agency MD.
For the first campaign by the new agency, see Ad of the Week: Christmas gets real — pa-rum-pum-pum-pum!
Other account moves
Amstel Lager, owned by Heineken South Africa, announced the appointment of Y&R SA as its new lead agency, replacing Owen Kessel Leo Burnett.
M&C Saatchi Abel won the Sun International advertising account. The business was previously held by two Ogilvy divisions, RedWorks and Geometry Global.
Following a three-way pitch late in 2015, AVATAR was awarded the Caltex digital account by Chevron South Africa. As a result, AVATAR opened a new Cape Town office.
Publicis Machine has been appointed the lead advertising agency on the Emirates airline account, for both South Africa and Angola, following a four-way pitch process.
Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of MarkLives.com. 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.