New Presence for Saatchi & Saatchi in South Africa

Publicis Groupe acquires leading brand engagement agency to form Saatchi & Saatchi BrandsRock.

Paris - Publicis Groupe has announced the acquisition of BrandsRock, South Africa’s industry leader in brand engagement.

BrandsRock will merge with Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa, forming a new entity, Saatchi & Saatchi BrandsRock. The BrandsRock staff team of 45 will be integrated into the Saatchi & Saatchi offices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Founded in September 2009, BrandsRock is a through-the-line brand solutions agency with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. They operate with a growing team of experienced, skilled individuals who understand business, brands, strategy and the best creative marketing programs needed to deliver results.

The BrandsRock Group services a portfolio of blue chip clients with four integrated offerings - marketing & brand strategy; creative design & advertising; digital engagement and shopper marketing & experiential brand activations through their amp Experiential division. Clients include: Harley-Davidson®, KWV, eBucks, Jose Cuervo Tequila, Nando's, Seartec, 466/64 Fashion, Isotherm, Vukani, Puma, Brandhouse, Touchlab, Vodacom and Kiehl's.

John Dixon, CEO of BrandsRock, becomes CEO of both Saatchi & Saatchi BrandsRock and the Saatchi & Saatchi group in South Africa. Brandsrock founder, Mike Joubert, becomes Chief Strategy Officer of Saatchi & Saatchi BrandsRock. BrandsRock’s Chief Creative Officer, Jonathan Beggs, and Chief Operating Officer, Heidi Nelson, make up the remainder of the leadership team for the new entity.

Justin Billingsley, COO of Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA, explains the logic behind the merger: “South Africa is ranked as the eighth fastest growing advertising market in the world between 2013 and 2016 and the growth opportunities across the African continent are well documented. The new integrated group will capitalize on this growth. The all-new Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa will include best of breed skills in experiential, traditional communications and digital; all under really strong leadership.”

According to Dixon the Saatchi & Saatchi ethos of “Nothing is Impossible” was a key attraction. “It’s not just etched in a stair at their London office, it’s lived by everyone we’ve come in contact with. This is an attitude which resonates with us as Africans,” he says.

Joubert adds: “The merger with Saatchi & Saatchi is the fulfillment of a dream for me. Together we will be a strategically led brand engagement agency for the digital age based on an approach to consumer centric work that is powerful, practical and measurable. We will make brands happen. We are not just creators, but also curators of great work.”

Photo (l to r): John Dixon and Mike Joubert

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