In the latest edition of The Media magazine we wrote a piece on a number of foreign companies who are on the hunt for South African media agencies. A massive example of this trend has just taken place as foreign firm Publicis Groupe has acquired The Creative Counsel. Michael Bratt spoke to Creative Counsel co-founder Ran Neu-Ner to find out more about the acquisition.
It is one of the biggest deals in South African agency history. And while Neu-Ner can not give the actual value of it, he says that it is structured over the next 4 years. Neu-Ner says he and his business partner Gil Oved decided to enter into the arrangement with Publicis Groupe to assist with the South African agencies African growth plans. Creative Counsel is planning a massive push into the rest of the continent including Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya and Nigeria. Neu-Ner however says the planned push will be “aggressive but slow.” The plan is to build a strong base on the continent over the next four years, before targeting other emerging markets. Groundwork is also currently being laid in India, through a search for strategic alliances in order to export The Creative Counsel’s technologies.
The deal has been in the works for quite a while. Two years ago, in July 2013, Neu-Ner and Oved approached Publicis Groupe and subsequently other international companies, looking for the right partner.
Neu-Ner believes that Publicis Groupe brings many things to the table including; a strong network of agencies across Africa (with a presence in 31 countries), unique IP methodology, systems and processes which The Creative Counsel would not have normally had access to and something he feels they needed, and very healthy and strong client relationships.
Neu-Ner wanted to add that, “Gil and I are not cowboys taking over the entire world just yet.” He also said that him and Oved will remain group CEO’s and will maintain management control of the business for at least until the end of 2018. But, just as he stated in another recent interview with the Media Online, they want to remain in a position of power within their company for the rest of their lives, “This company is our baby and our passion, and for as long as we’re growing and happy then we have great ambitions.”
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