Media Moves… TheMediaOnline’s weekly round up. Publicis Groupe acquires Epic Communications. SMG South Africa bolsters management team. Ireland/Davenport adds a splash of colour to its client portfolio with Plascon. Livewired PR Wins Rand-Air. Founder and executive creative director of Black River FC joins the Cannes Lions jury. King James II celebrates the second year.
This week’s BIG move: Publicis Groupe acquires Epic Communications
Publicis Groupe has bought South Africa-based company, Epic Communications, an independent integrated strategic communications agency. Epic Communications will be aligned with Publicis Groupe’s strategic communications network, MSLGROUP. The agency will operate under the name ‘Epic MSLGROUP’, with Elian Wiener remaining as CEO.
“We’re delighted to welcome Epic Communications to the MSLGROUP family. They are a consistently strong player in their market, with a client list that both strengthens and complements our EMEA offering, with many opportunities for collaboration. This first step, building upon Publicis Groupe’s open door policy across Africa, underlines our commitment to the African market,” said Anders Kempe, president, EMEA at MSLGROUP.
Epic services over 40 retainer clients, including Samsung, Nedbank, DHL, Cipla and Old Mutual and has delivered average annualised growth of over 40% since it was founded. Recently, the agency was awarded African Consultancy of the Year at the 2014 EMEA Sabre awards.
Elian Wiener, founder and CEO of Epic Communications, added, “As we have grown we have seen that our clients’ needs are also evolving, requiring a more extensive range of skills, knowledge and global best practices. The team at Epic Communications is incredibly excited about the added value that our clients will derive as a result of this acquisition.”
Who’s moved where
SMG South Africa bolsters management team
On the back of appointing Alexander Kunz as the client managing director for Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) South Africa and Africa, MD Ravi Bhaya has announced further appointments to solidify and consolidate his management team.
Spearheading the positions of head of strategy and head of planning are two well-respected industry individuals, Lia Smit and Lucinda Langford respectively and the specialised out of home unit is being headed by Kirsty Carlson who returns to SMG.
Smit’s 20 years of experience in the media industry spans across several local and international clients, including her winning work on the Coca-Cola business for six years.
Langford started her career in advertising 26 years ago and until recently she held the position of client lead director: Unilever South Africa. As head of planning at SMV Group, Langford is responsible for engineering the rigors and discipline into the agency’s planning product.
Carlson returns to Starcom where she worked her way up to the Africa account manager role. She carries a wide array of experience within media and the out of home industry particularly in the areas of media planning, buying, strategy development and account management across 50+ African markets with varying challenges, languages, cultures and legislations.
Who’s won what
Ireland/Davenport adds a splash of colour to its client portfolio with Plascon
The Ireland/Davenport team is adding a splash of ‘blue chip’ colour to its portfolio after recently winning the Plascon account. The account is an exciting addition to the ever increasing list of leading South African brands the agency has acquired recently.
The paint category in South Africa has over the years seen a number of emotive advertising campaigns, and the team at Ireland/Davenport is excited at the prospect of creating differentiating campaigns for the Plascon brand. “We relish the idea of working with Plascon to create communication that not only repositions the paint category but will also provide Plascon with work that is distinctive and disruptive. We not only aim to distinguish the brand within the category, but separate it from its competitors through innovative creative communication,” says Ireland/Davenport MD, Sue Napier.
Livewired PR Wins Rand-Air
Livewired PR has announced the addition of Rand-Air to its ever-expanding portfolio of clients. Rand-Air is the South African market leader in compressed air and power generation rental, and has 10 branches and agencies across Southern Africa.
“We are excited to have Rand-Air within our portfolio and look forward to working with them in order to grow their brand,” says Lucinda Boddy, managing director of Livewired Public Relations.
Livewired Public Relations is a multi-award winning strategic and creative PR agency. It has successfully positioned companies in the FMCG, pharmaceutical, travel, property, construction, engineering, motoring, NGO and leisure industries, as experts and leaders in their respective fields. This has been achieved through best-practice thinking and world-class services – from strategy, messaging development and planning, right through to execution of external and internal campaigns.
Who’s making moves
Founder and executive creative director of Black River FC joins the Cannes Lions jury
Cinemark, the local representative for Cannes Lions and its affiliates has announced that ECD of Black River FC, Ahmed Tilly, will be joining nine South African creatives in the judging of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2015. He will be judging the outdoor category.
Taking place from the 21 – 27 June, the Festival is an opportunity for South Africa to showcase its talent both on the competition side and the jury panel side. Tilly joins a group of individuals carefully selected to represent the rainbow nation in the judging of some of the most revered work in the creative industry.
Tilly began his career at FCB before spending a couple of years at Publicis. He then moved to The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town where he was appointed Creative Director. He returned to Johannesburg to work at TBWA/Gavin Reddy. In 2005, he started up Black River FC.
King James II celebrates the second year
Have fun. Those are the first two words (and also the last two) of the ethos creative founding partners, Rob McLennan and Graeme Jenner, wrote for the agency the day they opened their doors. In the middle are another few hundred words about how best to do great creative work for great clients. So, on the eve of the agency’s second birthday, it’s probably a good time to check in whether they’re living up to all of that.
Time-travel back to March, 2nd 2013, and you’d find Rob and Graeme, staring at each other across a single desk in a cramped office in Hyde Park, only a teapot between them. Three weeks and countless cups of tea later they had won their first new client and were off to a good start.
It wasn’t long after that strategy partner, Lesego Kotane, joined Graeme, Rob and managing partner, Charles Matterson, to create the four board members that run King James II today.
Since then, building the agency has become something they’ve spent a lot of time on, and it would seem they’ve become quite good at it. Their name started to crop up on big pitch lists, and last year alone they won Garmin, iStore, Altech Node and Status Deodorant. 2014 also saw them bringing home their first two Loerie Awards, for SABC3 radio and an integrated digital campaign Loerie for Metro FM. They are particularly proud of the Metro FM award because it’s a real-life example of how the King James Group integrated model really works.
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