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#Imaginethat: Brett Morris on FCB Africa's rebrand as Nahana

Local marketing media is in a flurry over news that FCB has rebranded as Nahana Communications Group. Brett Morris explains what's changing and what's staying the same.
Group CEO, Brett Morris.

Brett Morris says it’s true – time to say goodbye to the name 'FCB Africa' and hello Nahana Communications Group. Feedback has been great so far, with staff really responding very positively to the new name and theme of inclusivity, which means 'imagine' in SeSotho.

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But the shift isn't an actual move away from FCB overall, nor does it imply a shift to new office locations, and while the rebrand has been planned for about six months, the actual rebrand took a lot less time.

Here, Morris answers my in-depth questions on their renewed focus on transformation and more...

BizcommunityA rebrand is a costly process and many feel “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Why the move away from the well-known, historical FCB name, especially when it’s doing so well globally?


We're not moving away from FCB, as FCB Joburg is still a flagship agency in the group and in fact they are as focused as ever on their heritage of building South Africa’s most-loved brands.


Over the years, the FCB Africa group has expanded considerably to include numerous specialist agencies including Hellocomputer, The MediaShop, Meta Media, Fuelcontent, Weber Shandwick, HelloFCB+ and McCann1886.

We’ve been managing complex integration for many of South Africa’s biggest blue-chip brands for decades, and evolving and redefining this approach to one that embraces Open Architecture.
The new name embraces this journey and vision - to connect and integrate the best resources for a client regardless of where those resources reside within Nahana. Each agency retains its independent structure, culture and management team.
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But, driven by a desire to help the modern marketer navigate today’s overwhelming choice of marketing and technology opportunities, will collaborate where the synergies benefit the client. FCB Joburg will continue to trade as FCB Joburg, and FCB Global is still very much involved.

BizcommunityThat's good to hear. With the Pendoring Awards celebrating ‘speaking South African’ last night, explain the importance of switching to a Sesotho name.


This is apt for us because we are a majority South African-owned group, and it’s fitting that our name reflects our South African heritage and commitment to transformation and building South Africa.

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BizcommunityThere’s also a focus on transformation and you have a socio-economic development arm, Nahana Foundation. Talk us through that point.


Yes, transformation is obviously a big focus for us. And, as much as we believe we’ve led the way in terms of ownership and representation, it’s not just about the numbers.
We want to be a model for transformation by using all our resources and creativity to help build a sustainable economy for all South Africans. To be representative of the demographics of the country and create an environment that is intentionally and deliberately inclusive.
And to be a place where every single one of us is able to meaningfully and authentically contribute to work that truly resonates with all South Africans.

The Nahana Foundation is a big part of how we contribute to positive change in South Africa. The Foundation's mission is to use the power of creativity to change South Africa for good.

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We do this by facilitating services to selected clients such as NPOs and CBOs that might not in normal circumstances have the financial ability or resources to use an agency to create integrated communications.

We currently invest over R4m in professional services with our Foundation clients.

BizcommunityImpressive. Still, on the theme of 'Nahana', we’ve seen a few tweets from your new account with the hashtag #imaginethat – will this be a new way of engaging with consumers online?


This was part of our launch and it seems to be getting traction, so we may just keep it!


BizcommunityLet's end with an overview of the impact of the rebrand for staff and clients like Toyota, which you’ve served for almost 60 years.


There is no real impact for staff or clients. Toyota is still very much part of the DNA of FCB Joburg as it has always been and FCB Joburg will continue to service Toyota.

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However, Toyota and all our group clients will have access to more specialist services from the other group companies.

#Imaginethat! Keep your eyes peeled on Morris and Nahana Group's Twitter feeds, as well as the newly rebranded Nahana Group press office for all the latest updates.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, and can be reached at ...
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