EXCLUSIVE: Joe Public United launches new Cape Town agency
by Herman Manson (@MarkLives) Joe Public United is returning to the Mother City with a new agency, Joe Public Cape Town, which will be led by Brendan Hoffmann (@brendanhoffmann) as executive creative director and Matt Quarta as integrated strategic planner
Hoffmann rejoins Joe Public after 11 years. Until October 2019, he served as group creative director for Machine_ (formerly Publicis Machine). Quarta, who brings extensive expertise in the digital landscape, particularly in data and analytics and brand and communication strategy, has been with Joe Public since early 2017.
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Cape Town will operate as an independent agency within the group, with its own character but sharing group values, vision and purpose; it will pitch independently for new business. According to Xolisa Dyeshana, Joe Public Johannesburg CCO, the expansion into the Cape Town market fits the group’s growth purpose. Plans were already in place pre-pandemic, and the group decided to continue with the launch despite the unpredictability of the long-term impact of covid-19 on the economy. He confirms that an anchor client is already in place but is unable to reveal who at this stage.
Dyeshana is also committed to building diversity within the new office, saying this is at the heart of Joe Public’s product offering — his opinion is that the more diverse the office, the more unique that product becomes. Cape Town remains a dynamic market, he says, and Joe Public believes it can bring a unique creative and strategic view to clients based in the city. [Joe Public United recently announced that 60% of the group had been acquired by black shareholders, including senior agency executives Dyeshana, Khuthala Gala Holten and Mpume Ngobese, as well as equity investment company, Senatla Capital.]
According to Hoffmann, he’d always wanted to return to Joe Public United, which he sees as his creative home. The group puts creativity and growth at the centre of its offering, he says, rather than simply being a business that happens to be creative.
The new agency hasn’t established a physical office as yet and there’s no real rush to do so, as 90% of the Joe Public United team is currently working from home. Hoffmann will look at shared office space down the line.
The agency will properly establish itself with its founding client and grow from there. Like Dyeshana, Hoffmann believes there’s a gap in the Cape Town market for the Joe Public offering made accessible to local clients there, and that the agency will build itself into a medium-sized business with a handful of medium-sized clients over the next three years.
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Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of MarkLives.com.