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Publicis Groupe acquires MACHINE

Publicis Groupe has announced that it has acquired South African integrated advertising agency MACHINE. The agency will merge with Publicis South Africa, the new entity being rebranded as Publicis Machine. (video)
Adrian Hewlett
Adrian Hewlett

CEO Adrian Hewlett will continue his role in the agency, reporting into Kevin Tromp, CEO of Publicis Sub-Saharan Africa for Publicis Worldwide.

Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Worldwide said, "With the acquisition of MACHINE following the one of Prima, in such a strategic country for our client's business, we are ever more strengthening our digital capabilities to be the preferred partner of our clients in their own digital transformation".

Founded in 2012, MACHINE is one of South Africa's largest independent communications agencies with over 150 employees, offering a unique combination of award-winning creativity, compelling consumer insights and leading digital capabilities. The agency is represented in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, with specialist talent across four core pillars: Narrative (content marketing), Incentiv (loyalty and rewards), Answered (research), and Moon Walk (public relations).

Publicis Groupe acquires MACHINE

The agency has won many awards, including Loeries, Assegai Awards, Bookmarks, a Clio, Cannes Lion, and D&AD Award, and was also named Breakthrough Agency of the Year 2013 by AdReview. MACHINE works with a variety of local and international clients, including Red Bull, Nando's, SABMiller, Sanlam Reality, and Peermont Hotels & Casinos. It has also recently won the business of Jaguar Land Rover and Auto & General insurance.

Growth into a powerhouse

"Publicis Worldwide is thrilled to join forces with a young, successful agency that has a dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit that only a young agency can. MACHINE's exciting portfolio of clients and unique culture, combined with the experience and scale of Publicis Worldwide will ensure the new agency's growth into a powerhouse, geared for the future of communication in Africa," Tromp added.

This sentiment is echoed by Hewlett, stating that, "The global skills and IP that Publicis Worldwide brings to the table will position the newly-formed agency extremely well to provide a fully integrated offering to clients on a pan-African scale. We are most excited about what this means for our clients, who will be enjoying the benefits of an agency leading the change in our industry".

Plans going forward

Notwithstanding MACHINE's past accolades, Hewlett has big plans going forward: "As a result of the joint skills and client roster, our aim is to be recognized as the agency group of the year within 12 months, while consistently achieving a top 5 creative ranking. Watch this space".

This acquisition follows those of Prima Integrated Marketing, OwenKessel and Lighthouse Digital earlier in 2014, the participation in AG Partner and the acquisition of AML and Synergize in 2013, evidencing Publicis Worldwide's strong commitment to continued expansion across Africa.

According to ZenithOptimedia, South Africa is the eighth fastest growing advertising market in the world between 2013 and 2016.

Check out the Publicis Machine launch campaign here:

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