by Herman Manson (@marklives) 60 layers of cake will become part of The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town effective Feb 1 2013. Jupiter Cape Town will integrate most of the 60 layers team into its own staff and 60 layers CEO Michael van den Heerik will join the Jupiter Cape Town leadership team.

60 layers burst onto the Cape Town agency scene in 2010 when it was launched by van den Heerik and Ben Wren. Both had left senior positions at The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town to launch the business.

Clients with 60 layers included The Coca Cola Company’s GLACEAU vitaminwater and international business like the worldwide social media/Community Management account of US sports brand Under Armour. It also worked with Heineken on Community Management & digital PR. The local partners bought out shares held by Dutch shareholders last year.

In a bid to evolve the traditional agency model The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town has quietly been experimenting with its internal workings, including collapsing its ‘leadership’ and ‘management teams’ into a single unit. It also evolved its team structure, headed jointly by an accounts manager and a senior creative, to draw skills from a central creative pool. Its PR division and digital specialists also sit in the creative department rather than in specialist divisions.

MD Claire Cobbledick, who was recently voted as one of the most admired agency bosses in Cape Town her peers, has in the past acknowledged the importance of reinventing agency processes in line with today’s changed market environment.

It’s in line with this commitment to building a new kind of agency that 60 layers was brought on board, says van den Heerik, who describes the now ex-60 staffers as ‘a (change) virus injected into the bloodstream of Jupiter Cape Town’. “Brilliant ideas come from conversations,” says van den Heerik, who is keen to get this one going inside Jupiter.

Cobbledick is excited about transforming ‘the machine’ – operations at the agency – taking change beyond the service offering and into the agency itself. It is exactly the nimbleness of a small agency that she hopes to bring to her much larger organisation and she believes the 60 layers team has a role to play here.

Discussions between 60 layers and Jupiter Cape Town started late last year after Wren left 60 layers to launch OwenKessel in Cape Town. Minus one agency co-founder, van den Heerik had called Cobbledick for advice and after a meeting with her board, she decided to open negotiations to try and bring 60 layers into her agency. Details of the financial aspects of the deal were not made available.

For the sake of some client continuity the 60 layers of cake brand will continue to operate as a sub-brand in the Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town stable, but with no dedicated staff or management, it is effectively part of the main agency.

Now Business Advancement Director at Jupiter Cape Town, van den Heerik will be responsible for advancing business transformation and service diversification (they are looking at building out a 3D animation and content offering for example) at the agency as well as winning new business.

Liezl-Mari van Rensburg, the former ECD at 60 layers of cake, is exploring launching a new venture on her own, details of which will be made public in due course.

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8 replies on “EXCLUSIVE: 60 layers of cake to merge into The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town”

  1. I normally wouldn’t troll Herman coz he’s a china.

    But is this the only way that Jupes can win new business now – buy someone else’s?

  2. Nice move, 60 Jupiter! You got to love the dynamics of agencies that have the guts to reinvent themselves. The proof will be in the pudding. Good luck to the peeps of 60 and TJDR

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