FCB makes ‘step change’ in Africa

Posted: November 20, 2015

FCB, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG), has announced changes to the way in which it structures its business on the African continent.

FCB South Africa, currently the head office for the network in Africa, has been renamed FCB Africa. This change signifies the network’s intent to bring the FCB Africa network more closely together.

It’s not merely a symbolic change; the agencies affiliated to the network have also signed new contracts with IPG that ensure their status is on a par with other agencies in FCB Worldwide’s global network.

In addition, the new contracts link the agencies more closely with the head office and as a result, all agencies in the network have added the prefix ‘FCB’ to their names.

Further, the co-ordinating agency in the network will be renamed FCB Connect, with Philip van Rensburg continuing as managing director. Van Rensburg also has the support of the FCB group exco through Eric D’Oliveira, managing director of FCB Cape Town, whose exco portfolio includes FCB Connect. Brett Morris will continue to hold CEO responsibility for all FCB agencies on the continent.

At the press conference in Johannesburg last night (Thursday November 19), Morris stressed that the change is far more than ‘just a rebrand’.

He said it represented an important philosophical paradigm shift which puts all agencies on the continent on an equal footing with their global counterparts, and heralds a more symbiotic relationship between the African agencies.

“As an African, I am thrilled that we have unified our business in Africa in this way,” he said.

“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 a par with their international counterparts underlines how valuable Africa is as a market for the global FCB business.

“Strengthening the links between Africa and the FCB Worldwide in this way also commits FCB Worldwide to enhanced levels of support for agencies and their clients on the continent, and will spark a new era of collaboration between these agencies and others on other continents.

“On a personal level, I cannot tell you how excited I am by the new challenges I see facing the network, and I am honoured to lead FCB Africa, engage with its teams and clients, and work hand-in-hand to positively influence the future for our mutual benefit,” he said.

“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.”

The FCB network is one of the oldest on the continent starting almost 90 years ago in South Africa, with Broughton Advertising in Zambia becoming the first agency outside of South Africa to join the in1995.

There are currently 21 agencies affiliated to the FCB Africa network covering 24 markets across sub-Sahara Africa. All will report into Morris and FCB Africa CFO, Graham Vivian. By country (and agency), they are:

Angola & Mozambique – BACK
Cameroon & Chad – FCB Palmares
DRC & Congo – FCB Oxygene
Ethiopia – Astar
Ghana – FCB Admedia
Ivory Coast, Togo and Burkina Faso – FCB Intuition
Kenya & Tanzania – FCB Sema House
Liberia – Premier Group
Malawi – FCB Times Communication
Mali – FCB Publistar
Mauritius & Madagascar – FCB Cread
Namibia – BlueBerry
Nigeria – FCB Brandfirst (Media agency)
Nigeria – FCB DpPartnership
Senegal – FCB Insights
South Africa – 1886
South Africa – FCB Cape Town
South Africa – FCB Durban
South Africa – FCB Johannesburg
Zambia – FCB Zambia
Zimbabwe – FCB Zimbabwe

A further three agencies – in Botswana, Uganda and Rwanda – will sign with FCB Africa by the end of this year.

Larger Pan-African accounts include:

• WingsCorp (Indonesia)
Washing detergents such as SoKlin, Goodmama, Boom, Soklin Protect
Noodles – Mie Supreme
• Tiger Brands
Tastic, Crosse & Blackwell, Fattis & Monis, Doom,
• Engen
• Davita Trading
Davita Juice, Jolly Juice, Benny Stock
• Moneygram
• Aldor
Pin Pop
• Distell
• Advans Micro Finance Bank
• Old Mutual
• SA Tourism
• PPC Cement