Until recently, Rick de Kock was the director of Africa Operations for TBWA\Africa where he managed the network of 15 offices across 13 countries on the continent. M&C Saatchi has now appointed him to lead its charge into Africa.
Rick de Kock
During his time at TBWA\Africa, the network was acknowledged as one of the strongest and most credible operations on the continent, servicing clients such as Standard Bank, Visa, GSK and Diageo.
"Having spent time in more than 20 African countries, I am an Afro-optimist who believes that Africa's time arrived a while ago and that it has just taken the world a while to wake-up to the fact" commented de Kock.
"I love the entrepreneurial spirit of M&CSaatchi globally and the manner in which they empower their people to go out there and do what needs to be done. You can see how Mike Abel and his team have adopted this spirit in South Africa and how it is clearly working as M&CSaatchi Abel continues to shoot the lights out."
"We believe that Rick is an exceptional person to lead our foray into Africa. He is immensely experienced in the region and has a highly successful track record in building such a network. Our business relationship and friendship goes back 16 years so he's another trusted partner" said Mike Abel, chief executive partner at M&CSaatchi Abel.Growing brands
He comments further on prospects in Africa. "We are experiencing the 3rd wave of investment in Africa as more and more global FMCG companies enter the market in order to engage with the 1 billion people that live here. However, what excites me even more than that is the growing role of regional brands in West and East Africa and the opportunities that these brands offer to us as communication specialists."
"The rise of the African middle class combined with their growing spending power, the role of technology in connecting the people of Africa like never before and the down-turn in the traditional markets of Europe and America means that Africa is at the centre of a perfect storm of investment. Global brands clearly see the African opportunity. They need communication partners who understand the continent and its people."
"I am looking forward to taking the most recognisable name in advertising forward into the rest of Africa. And it is a perfect fit - after all creativity and entrepreneurism are second nature to the people of Africa. Just as they are to the people in the M&CSaatchi global network."
"I am often humbled by the optimism, talent and energy that I have witnessed in Africa and I am looking forward to building relationships that harness this sprit" concluded de Kock.
He departs TBWA\Africa at the end of January to take up his new role as managing director of M&CSaatchi Africa where he is tasked with taking the brand into the continent.