FCB South Africa has revealed a name change and a restructuring of its business. Michael Bratt attended the announcement event to find out all the details.
At a dinner event hosted at The Capital hotel in Sandton, the agency announced that FCB South Africa is no more. It has been renamed FCB Africa. The agency has also restructured its African business to solidify its relationships with the different agencies it had agreements with in the different countries.
FCB, which is part of the New York Stock Exchange listed Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG), rebranded and changed the way it structures its business on the African continent in order to signify its intent to bring the FCB Africa network more closely together. Speaking at the gathering Brett Morris, who stays on as CEO of FCB Africa, said, “We want to work together, learn from each other and improve the businesses of each other across the FCB network on the continent.”
The restructuring has led to the agencies in Africa affiliated with the FCB network signing new contracts with IPG, which has led to their status being on par with other agencies in FCB Worldwide’s global network.
“Requiring all agencies within the network to commit to the same contract not only highlights the importance of individual markets within Africa, putting them on par with their international counterparts underlines how valuable Africa is as a market for the global FCB business. The move will also lead to enhanced levels of support for African agencies from FCB Worldwide,” Morris said.
FCB is “using the collective brain power of the Africa network to have the advantage”
Of the impact the move may have on clients Morris added, “I see us exchanging ideas more regularly, sharing knowledge and best practice on a daily basis, exploring options and building new teams. At the end of the day, this is the communications industry, and those that work in it want to be challenged – creatively and strategically. This is set to take us and our clients to a whole new level.”
Of the move Morris explained that, “it’s all about sharing knowledge and refining offerings. Using the collective brain power of the Africa network to have the advantage”.
This development has been in the works for a year. The idea was born entirely out of people working within the FCB Africa network, not its global holding company IPG. When Morris told the global CEO about the plan he got a one word response, “fantastic”. Morris believes that his new role of CEO of FCB Africa won’t be that much different from the role he played as CEO of FCB South Africa. “We’ve always spoke about Africa as if it was another place to FCB South Africa. My new role is not so much a change as it is a shift in mindset to working closer with agencies across the continent.”
At the dinner awards were also handed out to celebrate the most creative work that has been done within the network in the past year. Special mentions were given to FCB Sema House in Kenya, FCB Palmares in Cameroon, FCB Astar in Ethiopia and FCB Intuition in Ivory Coast. The big winners of the night were FCB Cread from Mauritius who walked away with both a bronze and gold award for their work.
Vino Sookloll, CEO and executive creative director of FCB Cread believes the secret to success for the agency on the island nation is guts. “Being able to take the risk and getting the client to trust you as you take them to the unknown.” Of the announcement of the creation of FCB Africa, Sookloll believes, “This announcement is taking us to the next level. I feel born again, I don’t want to retire as now with this creation there is so much opportunity.”
Currently 21 agencies, covering 24 markets across sub-Saharan Africa, are affiliated with the FCB Africa network. A further three will sign with and be added to the network by the end of this year.
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