by Herman Manson (@marklives) Mortimer Harvey has opened a regional office in Cairo, Egypt. Instead of buying its way into African markets, the independent full-service agency intends to establish and grow on the ground, and offer clients access to a team of senior marketers with experience in launching and building brands in Africa.

Andrew Fradd, group managing director of Mortimer Harvey
Andrew Fradd, group managing director of Mortimer Harvey.

Mortimer Harvey Africa Middle East will be lead by CEO Thibaud Weick and MD Hazem El Senoussi from Cairo. Mariette Nebuloni becomes business director of Mortimer Harvey Africa Middle East – South Africa and will be based in Johannesburg.

The new office will offer full communications and brand-marketing services.

Growing interest

Weick says there is growing interest by European companies in entering African markets through Egypt, which is well-situated between the West and the East, and allows easy access to sub-Saharan Africa as well. It will also offer Mortimer Harvey’s South African clients access to fast-growing markets in the Middle East and North Africa.

Egypt is the second biggest consumer market in Africa after Nigeria, notes Weick, and the country is currently experiencing relative political stability, which is renewing interest and investment from global brands.

Weick has more than 12 years of experience in senior commercial and CEO roles in the Middle East and Africa, including Vodafone, Orascom Telecom and Smile Telecoms Holdings. El Senoussi has more than 10 years of senior marketing and sales experience with Vodafone.

Nebuloni has 12 years of brand and retail experience at Sun International and Famous Brands. As an agency executive, she has eight years of working on brands such as Absa, Altech Autopage Cellular, SA Reserve Bank, Tiger Brands, BBC, Colgate, Hollard, SAB and Food Network.

Practical, on the ground, assistance

Together, they aim to offer clients practical, on the ground, assistance in key African markets. Few organisations have the necessary skill-sets in house to find the right local marketing partners, says Weick, to ensure they offer consistent quality and brand messaging, and that they remain aligned to the clients’ core needs.

Weick believes this is a function his team is well-placed to deliver on. They will assist with setting up processes and structures, as well as up-skilling local partners where required.

Apart from Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and parts of Francophone Africa in West Africa are key markets, as identified by clients. Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda are key markets in East Africa, while interest in both Mozambique and Angola continues to grow.

The Johannesburg office will play a key role in overseeing partners in various regional markets, says Andrew Fradd, group managing director of Mortimer Harvey. The new office is already generating significant interest from the SA clients of the agency, adds Fradd.


New offices will be added in a measured way, with Lagos and Nairobi likely to be first on the list.

Mortimer Harvey is an independent, full-service, marketing and communications agency headquartered in Johannesburg. Clients include Absa, Altech Autopage Cellular, Avios, Barclays Africa, Smile Communications and the University of Johannesburg. The agency has 81 employees.

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