Grey, Adweek Global Agency of the Year, is re-entering South Africa with immediate effect, having agreed to acquire a majority stake in The Volcano Group, one of South Africa's fastest growing independent advertising communications groups.
The Volcano Group will rebrand as GREY Africa, re-establishing the global advertising giant as a leader in providing creative and effective full-service marketing solutions across the African continent.
WPP, the world's largest global media and communications agency network, made the announcement in London today, signalling yet another critical step in GREY's growth strategy of developing its networks in fast growing and important markets and sectors in the EMEA region. The Volcano Group will focus on developing a strong local GREY presence in South Africa as well as lead GREY's expansion in key African markets.
Paul Jackson, Volcano's Group Managing Director, says he is immensely proud to be associated with an iconic agency such as GREY. "The GREY Group ranks among the world's top advertising and marketing organisations, with an enviable global footprint. GREY's credentials and achievements are impressive and their unique positioning of 'Famously Effective' resonates with the same values that have guided Volcano to success. The decision to take on the exciting opportunity of re-establishing GREY in South Africa and across the continent is one that is met with great enthusiasm by both parties, and we look forward to being an integral part of the continued global success of GREY."
As a full service, through-the-line communications group, Volcano has been operating for over 20 years. Today, Volcano is made up of all-inclusive integrated marketing communications units which include Volcano Advertising, Volcano PR and Social, Volcano Design, Volcano Insights as well as Volcano Digital.
Benefits for clients
Volcano has also been the lead agency in sub-Saharan Africa for ICOM, the world's largest group of independent agencies, having successfully managed a network of 27 agencies throughout the MEA region. "The Volcano Group brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the African marketplace and comes with an outstanding track record," adds Jackson. "By combining Volcano's integrated marketing and communications capabilities with GREY's proven expertise, I am confident that our multi-faceted service offering will provide clients with a new level of excellence."
Speaking with Bizcommunity.com, Jackson said that one of the biggest challenges in expanding into Africa is finding the right people, and the right partners...
"We prefer owner-manager agencies that have built their own client base. We then provide the extra training and other support that the agency might need," he says.
David Patton, President and CEO of GREY EMEA, is confident and energised by the new partnership. "The most important outcome of this exciting partnership is the acquisition of talent and expertise that will re-ignite our efforts in establishing a dynamic South African presence for GREY and will also allow us to truly focus on serving international clients across the African continent", says Patton.
GREY is the advertising network of GREY Group. The GREY Group ranks among the largest global communications companies and its parent company is WPP. With headquarters in New York City, GREY has 432 offices in 96 countries, operating in 154 cities. "Famously Effective since 1917", GREY serves a blue chip client roster of many of the world's best known companies and leading brands.
For more information, visit www.GREY.com
WPP is the world's largest communications services group with billings of US$72.3bn and revenues of US$17.3bn. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications.
For more information, visit www.wpp.com
Volcano Group is Southern Africa's leading independent advertising communications network serving some of the world's best known brands including; Procter & Gamble, Sony, Garmin, Conagra Foods, Tabasco, AkzoNobel Dulux, MARS, Nestlé, Smeg, Thai Airways, VW & Audi. Volcano is currently the African regional co-ordination office for the ICOM Global Network - the world's largest network of independent advertising agencies.
Volcano Group consists of Volcano Advertising, Volcano Design, Volcano Insights, Volcano Digital, Volcano PR and Volcano Social. For more information, visit www.volcano.co.za