by MarkLives (@marklives) JOHANNESBURG/NEW YORK: Luca Gallarelli — who announced his resignation as group managing director of Ogilvy South Africa on Friday, 6 September 2019 — will be replacing Sean Donovan as TBWA\South Africa group CEO, effective 1 December. The latter was promoted to TBWA\Asia president earlier this year.

Comments Gallarelli, “TBWA has always stood out as a collective supremely confident in who it is and what it represents: uncompromising in the talent that it attracts, uncompromising in the quality of relationships that it fosters with its clients, and uncompromising in its quest for creative excellence. As someone who is deeply passionate about the creative product, this is something that I want to be a part of. Furthermore, the opportunity to work across a group of outstanding companies with an unparalleled breadth of capabilities and the proven ability to integrate was too compelling to pass up. I am humbled at the opportunity to be a part of this iconic agency collective’s story.”

Multidisciplinary group of agencies

He will lead the multidisciplinary group of agencies within the TBWA collective in South Africa, including TBWA\Hunt Lascaris, Grid Worldwide (which recently merged with Openco), Yellowwood, HDI Youth Marketeers and Magna Carta. He will report to Cem Topçuoğlu, TBWA\Worldwide president international.

Says Donovan, “We are delighted to have Luca coming on board to lead the group. He excels at creating environments where creativity can thrive, and understands the needs of both smaller, entrepreneurial companies and complex multinationals. He’s going to be a fantastic leader for clients, our people and our product. Most importantly, he is the right cultural fit—he’s ‘one of us.’”

Gallarelli joins the company after an almost 15-year stint at Ogilvy SA, where he ultimately became group MD across three different campuses and responsible for an agency group of 800 people; prior to that, as MD of Ogilvy Cape Town, the agency grew to 300+ employees and won a 2018 Cannes Lion Grand Prix for Carling Black Label’s Soccer Song for Change. Ogilvy SA tied with TBWA as the Creative Circle’s 2018 Agency Group of the Year, too. He was also a member of Ogilvy SA’s holding board, as well as Ogilvy Africa’s advisory board, from 2014, and was selected in 2015 as one of 15 global leaders to participate in the Ogilvy SMP Senior Management Programme.

“Time of positive momentum”

This appointment comes at a “time of positive momentum” for the TBWA\South Africa Group, according to the statement: Two weeks ago, TBWA was named Loeries Regional Agency Group of the Year for the second year in a row. In June, TBWA\Hunt Lascaris was named SA’s leading agency at Cannes Lions, for the second successive year too, taking home a Cannes Gold Lion for its radio campaign for Town Lodge, and the first-ever Lion for work created in isiZulu.

Says Troy Ruhanen, TBWA\Worldwide CEO, “Luca’s passion for creativity, coupled with his business acumen, fits the TBWA mould perfectly. He is the ideal successor to Sean, and we can’t wait for him to join our world-class SA group.”

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