by Herman Manson (@marklives) Interpublic-owned McCann Johannesburg will be merging with 1886, the wholly owned subsidiary of the FCB Africa group (also an IPG agency), to become McCann 1886. The move comes at the request of IPG, says Brett Morris, FCB Africa GCEO.

The new agency will have a diverse, integated offering and its final positioning in the market will emerge in the new year.

1886 — helmed by Derek Coles, executive VP, and Stuart Stobbs, chief inspiration officer at FCB Global and 1886 chief creative officer — is known for its work on the recent Cell C rebrand; other key clients include Steers, Nivea, Sasfin Bank and Easy Waves. Among McCann Johannesburg’s key clients are Diageo, kulula, L’Oréal, MasterCard, Nestlé and Reckitt Benckiser; its leaders are Fraser Lamb, McCann executive chairman Africa and Mick Blore, McCann Worldgroup South & sub-Saharan Africa CCO. In terms of revenue bands, 1886 falls into the R40–50m range and McCann falls into R50–R60m.


According to Morris, McCann 1886 will be led by Coles and Stobbs, and Lamb will remain executive chairman for McCann in Africa, looking after affiliates across the continent. Blore’s future role is, as yet, unresolved. While the combined agency will have a staff count of around 100+ people, it’s not clear at the moment if or how many jobs are on the line and retrenchments remain possible.

The merger will create a larger agency, say Morris, that will have a greater impact on the competitive Joburg agency market; while 1886 is a strong boutique shop with a unique culture and strong leadership, McCann enjoys a strong network and great research capabilities.

Cell C will be the new agency’s biggest client and the merger becomes official as of 1 January 2019.


Herman Manson 2017Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of

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