by Herman Manson (@marklives) House of Brave (HOB) has acquired a majority stake in Johannesburg-based Rogue Brand Agency. HOB is a full-service creative agency, while Rogue’s core competencies include brand building, brand development and brand internalisation. The two will continue to operate as two independent entities but their respective teams will collaborate and share expertise on various client projects.

Launched in 2012

House of Brave was launched in 2012 by former McCann Johannesburg executives Andrew Shuttleworth (MD), Vanessa Pearson and Rob van Rooyen. It recently brought on board Ashantha Thompson, a former CEO at Grid Worldwide Branding, as a non-executive director tasked with building out HOB’s capabilities in PR, content marketing and “brand internalisation.”

“As people become saturated by digital media, they are looking for more authentic brands and human interaction,” says Thompson concerning the deal. “There’s a resurgence of more meaningful customer service that truly builds brand loyalty. Rogue has several core competencies that will underpin this offering, including brand building, brand development and brand internalisation.”

Shuttleworth says he and Rogue (which launched in 2009) founder, Brad Dessington, have known one another for some time and have had regular chats about how to take their businesses forward. The agencies complement one another, rather than compete directly. They share key client Tracker (HOB manages its external and Rogue its internal communication) so the synergies and opportunities were obvious to both.

No job losses

HOB employes 22 people and Rogue 17, so the agencies are of a similar size. Key clients at the former include Tracker, SAB Miller, iLife and Tiger Brands. At the latter, they include Absa, Librty and De Beers. Dessington will continue in his role as CE of Rogue, and the two agencies will in time move into a single building, according to Shuttleworth. Certain internal systems will be aligned and no job losses will occur.

HOB is also currently hiring as it beds down client wins from the end of 2015, says Shuttleworth.


Herman Manson 2105Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of He was the inaugural Vodacom Social Media Journalist of the Year in 2011 and has, over his 20-year-plus career, contributed to numerous journals and websites in South Africa and abroad, including AdVantage magazine, Men’s Health, Computer World and African Communications.

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