by MarkLives (@marklives) Standard Bank has ended its 10-year-old relationship with its digital agency, VML&YR South Africa*. Wunderman Thompson South Africa, another WPP agency with specialist digital and direct marketing capabilities, will take over the account.
The bank also announced that Mindshare South Africa is its new media agency, moving on from OMD South Africa, and is consolidating its media-buying portfolios across traditional and digital media. A retail merchandising agency will be appointed soon to complete the Standard Bank agency model.
In June 2019, Standard Bank parted with TBWA\Hunt Lascaris and appointed M&C Saatchi Abel as its new through-the-line (TTL) ad agency; Ogilvy South Africa took over as brand agency; Clockwork Media was awarded consumer PR (retail and business); and Edelman became its key corporate reputation management agency.
“While this kind of loss is, of course, hard to accept for the agency, we want to take a moment to publicly thank Standard Bank for being such a crucial and important part of the growth of our business since it was founded,” comments Jarred Cinman, VMLY&R South Africa CEO. “While losing to anyone is a bruising experience, we are proud that our fellow WPP agency was able to keep the client in the network. This is a big endorsement and, contrary to common rumours, WPP in South Africa is strong and growing.
“Secondly, this account move represents a growing trend in the market toward consolidation. With limited budgets and weariness with complex and fractious rosters, clients are preferring to group fragmented accounts under a single agency. In that story there are going to be winners and losers — we have, for example, consolidated most of the Edgars business into our agency; we expanded our mandate with Hollard to include the full TTL account; and Standard Bank now has (primarily) M&C and Wunderman handling [its] business. In most cases — and, being close to these clients, I can say this with confidence — the driver is effectiveness, efficiency and simplification.”
Cinman notes that, globally, VMLY&R has chosen to move into a TTL agency role: “The results have been mixed but we are exceptionally proud of how we’ve performed in our first year as a full-service agency — and, where we haven’t triumphed, we’ve learnt an enormous amount. We’re not trying to make light of our disappointment but we do want to say a huge thank you for the trust and support all of these years. We part ways with Standard Bank with immense pride.”
*Brandsh, a precursor to the current VMLY&R, initially won the bank’s digital business a decade ago.
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