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greg burke

by Herman Manson (@marklives) In a stunning coup for OFyt (Old Friends Young Talent) the agency, just over one year old, has announced that it has lured Greg Burke back to South Africa as ECD of its new Johannesburg office. Burke has been creative partner for O&M London’s Ford business since 2005 (as Executive Creative Director of Blue Hive London – the WPP agency that handles Ford in Europe). OFyt last week announced that it has won the Kia Motors South Africa account and that it will be run out of Johannesburg.

Burke spent 30 years in the South African advertising industry – mostly at Ogilvy/RS-TM – where he worked on VW (remember the David Kramer campaign for VW Bus?). Other accounts he has worked on as ECD at Ogilvy Cape Town included Carling Black Label, BP, Shell, WWF, Old Mutual, NSRI, Woolworths and Castrol.

OFyt currently employs 36 people. It expects to employ 12-14 people in Johannesburg once the office has been fully set up.

OFyt was launched last year by Jono Shubitz, a former ECD of Ogilvy Cape Town and chairman of OgilvyOne and Ogilvy Interactive SA; Gary Leih, a former group MD of Ogilvy South Africa, co-founder of ad agency The White House, chairman and CEO of Ogilvy Group UK and an Ogilvy Worldwide board director; and Paul Newman who, after a career in banking at Barclays in London and with Banque Nationale de Paris, served as marketing director at Nationwide before launching his own ad agency Amperzand.

The agency takes on interns (young talent), often from disadvantaged backgrounds, with the Old Friends helping train them in market-relevant skills. Of the eight interns it took in last year 5 has joined the agency permanently while three others have gone into the broader industry. This year it took on four new interns.

Other clients include The Crazy Store, Henry Tayler & Ries and ADT. OFyt CEO Gary Leih says the agency will announce the appointment of an MD for its Johannesburg office shortly.

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Published by Herman Manson

MarkLives.com is edited by Herman Manson. Follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/marklives

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