In an exciting development for the advertising industry and another example of a significant overseas investment in a South African based independent business, JWT has acquired a majority stake in The Hardy Boys, a leading independent brand building and activation agency in South Africa.
Dale Tomlinson CEO and founder of The Hardy Boys: “We'll have the opportunity to develop our business across Africa."
Announcing the deal yesterday, Dale Tomlinson CEO and founder of The Hardy Boys described it as exciting news for both agencies and their respective clients. "As part of its global network, we'll have the opportunity to develop our business across Africa and give our talent the scope to tap into the extensive knowledge and global expertise JWT represents. It also gives us access to broader strategic and specialist skills with physical space to work out of in key regions. This is particularly exciting for our clients looking to grow their brands into Africa."
Roy Haddad, the chairman of JWT Middle East and Africa, said the agreement adds fully integrated activation capabilities to the group in South Africa and beyond.
An 'excellent cultural fit'
"JWT has always been an early mover, whether in emerging markets or leveraging emerging technologies and disciplines. Boosting our capabilities in the important fast-developing African markets will help our clients to leverage the opportunity Africa offers. The Hardy Boys' innovative outlook and passion for driving effective solutions compliments JWT's pioneering spirit."
Tomlinson concurred, "JWT may be a global powerhouse, but it's an excellent cultural fit for the agency. We are both passionate about marrying consumer insight with great strategic thinking to produce world-class ideas."
He said The Hardy Boys would not be changing its name, but would be a distinctive new brand in the group as it extends across Africa. "The staffing and management structures, including my own role, remain unchanged, along with the individuality and unconventional thinking our clients have come to expect from us."
This deal has been in the works for several months and comes as The Hardy Boys celebrates its 20th anniversary and JWT marks its 150th year in business.
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There goes your "independent agency" street cred...