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SA agency search company moves into Africa

The Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS) is expanding its services to include Mozambique, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana and Botswana. This follows a demand by agencies and clients to branch into Africa and provide its client/agency relationship management services.
“We believe that these five countries are key drivers in the growth and development of business in Africa, along with South Africa, in the near future. With our existing relations and networks in these countries through Mazole Holdings [which founded IAS in South Africa in association with the AAR Group (UK) in 2006] we will be able to provide our services to clients and agencies across all disciplines currently active in these countries,” explains MD Johanna McDowell.

The aim is to benefit agencies and corporate clients through the range of services that the company has to offer including; credentials management, client/agency relationship assessment and management, fine tuning marketing campaigns, agency familiarization and BEE verification.

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“There are a number of agencies expanding and have representatives in Africa, but need assistance with formulating lasting working relationships with other networks. The company can assist with establishing formal networks to improve the level of professionalism and sophistication of marketing campaigns in Africa,” says McDowell. In addition, foreign companies investing in these countries can utilize its services and networks to forge new agency relationships

McDowell says that during the course of 2010, the company will endeavour to understand the client/agency relationship needs in these five African countries. “As Sir Martin Sorrell, the CEO of WPP told us at Ad Forum in New York, ‘If you want business you have to travel, visit the countries, assess their situation, understand the needs of consumers on the ground and see what can be done',” she says. “Luckily we have been operating in Africa for many years via Mazole and did some client/agency work for Mascom in Botswana some years ago.

“Its mission is to be at the forefront of client/agency relationship management in a quest for the best possible advertising, media and public relations work to be created and sustained in Africa,” she explains. “The recession has shown that world growth will be dominated by emerging countries like those in Africa and we are confident that these five countries, along with South Africa will lead the way.”

She adds that plans are in place to include other countries in Africa as the IAS network develops with a systematic basis over a period of years.