Ogilvy & Mather Rightford ties the knot with HarrisonHuman
One of South Africa's largest advertising agencies, Ogilvy & Mather Rightford, is to incorporate one of the country's most successful small agencies, HarrisonHuman.
The move, which is effective from 1 October 2003, follows the purchase of HarrisonHuman's parent company, the Cordiant Communications Group (CCG), by multinational marketing giant WPP, headed by Sir Martin Sorrell. WPP holds stakes in local agencies O&M, J Walter Thompson and Y&R Gitam.Editorial contact
HarrisonHuman founder and creative director, Gerry Human attributes his decision to join O&M to the "obvious opportunity" that the larger agency represents in terms of its broad range of blue chip clients. He also cites the "cultural fit" between both companies, highlighting O&M's long established reputation for trust and integrity in its agency-client relationships. "In addition, O&M espouses a policy of "brand stewardship" which matches the brand building approach which is the focus of HarrisonHuman," he says.
Human believes that his existing clients will benefit from O&M's depth of experience and expertise, as well as its formidable resources and international network.
He has also expressed admiration for O&M's empowerment credentials, which he regards as essential for doing business in the current environment. These include 26% BEE ownership and a rigorous transformation programme, led by O&M Gauteng chairperson, Nunu Ntshingila.
In terms of the merger, Human will become joint executive creative director of O&M Johannesburg, and will bring with him a team of specialists who will continue the relationships HarrisonHuman has established over the past few years.
O&M group managing director, Gary Leih, says there is no doubt that Gerry will compliment O&M's existing three creative directors – Mark Fisher, Greg Burke and Peter Badenhorst. "We believe that a strengthened creative leadership in Johannesburg will maximise the opportunities that our Gauteng client base presents," he says.
In joining O&M, the HarrisonHuman team will become part of a global communications network with an impressive heritage. Founded in 1948 by advertising legend, David Ogilvy, the agency has offices in over 70 countries with a strong presence on the African continent. It services more Fortune 500 companies than any other agency and has the world's leading direct and interactive agency in Ogilvy One. Ogilvy Worldwide's main focus is on "360 degree branding" – seamless, all-round integration of advertising, promotions, design and other disciplines. And it strives to maintain a 50/50 balance between local and multinational clients.
"It's a testament to Gerry and his team's ability that his agency did so well at Cannes and this year's Loeries, not to mention his being elected chairman of the Creative Directors Forum," adds Robyn Putter, CEO of O&M South Africa.
"Gaining Gerry as a partner is a coup for us and we see him as playing a key role in helping us to regain the pre-eminent position in this industry – a move that has already begun and will be reinforced by Gerry's arrival," says Putter.
Ogilvy Public Relations
Sandra Mason/Monica Bragança
Tel: (011) 880 2271