by Herman Manson (@marklives) TBWA\Hunt Lascaris and Standard Bank are parting ways after an agency-client relationship spanning 26 years — the ad agency has announced that it won’t participate in the upcoming Standard Bank through-the-line (TTL) pitch.

According to Karabo Denalane, TBWA\Hunt Lascaris CEO, the agency will remain fully committed to Standard Bank until such time as a new agency is appointed and a successful transition has been fully concluded.


The agency, says Sean Donovan, TBWA\South Africa GCEO, enjoys a strong relationship with Standard Bank Group CMO Thulani Sibeko, who joined the bank in early 2018, and that he had always been upfront about the business going out to pitch at some point, so the agency had been forewarned. This led the agency to consider all the ramifications of staying in the pitch, which would be costly and resource-intensive, with no guarantee of success. The agency had lost the retail part of the business several years ago on a deck, Donovan says, it still stands by, and it has considered the possibility that its strategy and that of Standard Bank might be misaligned.

By leaving now, the agency has time to prepare itself for the departure of one of its larger pieces of business. It’s too early to speculate on job losses, but Donovan says he hopes to keep these to a minimum, and that the agency has a strong pipeline of pitches coming up, which he hopes will blunt most of the impact on the business.

Smooth handover

Standard Bank is the 23rd largest advertiser by spend in South Africa, according to Nielsen. Donovan says the agency is committed to a smooth handover of the business, once the pitch process has been concluded.


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

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