Grid Worldwide has been appointed as the South African above-the-line ad agency of Ballantine’s Scotch Whisky, owned by Pernod Ricard. This will be the first time in four years that the brand will be commissioning a local creative agency; it previously used global content and local ambassadors. “We have had our mind set on the […]
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by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) Ballantine’s Scotch Whisky is a brand that has used an imaginative, cross-market, brand-building campaign to create an image that is fresh, new and in tune with the modern generation. The slogan is “Stay True,” and this refers initially to the idea that Ballantine’s respects its roots.
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by Herman Manson (@marklives) M&C Saatchi is preparing to launch a new Africa agency. The venture, provisionally called M&C Saatchi Abel Africa, will see new affiliate offices launched or acquired in Nigeria and Kenya.
The London based M&C Saatchi group will then have an on the ground precise in East, West and Southern Africa. It already has offices in Cape M&C SaatchiTown and Johannesburg through M&C Saatchi Abel.
Moray MacLennan, worldwide chief executive of M&C Saatchi, revealed that the new agency will be driven from the M&C Saatchi Abel office in Cape Town, which is in the process of recruiting an executive to lead the initiative.
The South African business is the fastest growing in the M&C Saatchi network and has grown from a staff component of 63 at his last visit to South Africa in August 2011 to over 150 today. Revenue (note: not billings) has passed the R80 million mark and its been winning business including Edgars Department Stores and Nedbank’s below-the-line account.
MacLennan says the local agency has been more successful than expected. It made a loss in its first year, turned a small profit in 2011 and is expected to do well in 2012. While margins are still substantially lower than in the European business he expects it will keep building to around 15%. Fast growth often translates into the use of more freelancers at a greater cost than permanent staff which impacts negatively on margins, says MacLennan.
In its Interim Results for the six months ended 30 June 2012 the group reported like-for-like revenues up 146% to £2.8m in the ME and Africa region and a profit of £330k.
On animosity by parts of the local industry aimed at the South African agency MacLennan shrugs and says M&C Saatchi used to be booed in London – its means you are making an impact and scaring the competition.