A consequence of the 49% acquisition of The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) & Partners by WPP, announced late last week, is that Jupiter shareholders will be releasing their shareholding equity in DDB SA. "DDB SA has enjoyed its short association with The Jupiter Drawing Room,” DDB SA CEO Glen Lomas told Bizcommunity.com on Friday, 30 January 2009. “We mutually benefited from the working relationship on a number of levels.”
Glen Lomas, CEO of DDB SA
The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) & Partners acquired the rights in South Africa to DDB, which is owned by WPP rival Omnicom, in November 2007. Previously, the brand had been aligned with Framptons, an agency owned by SA entrepreneur Mike Frampton, for a decade.
Continued Lomas, “I will be forever grateful to Graham [Warsop] for his support and in particular for introducing us to Gareth [Lessing, executive creative director].
“However, Gareth has now built a formidable creative team here at DDB, one that complements perfectly our strength in strategy and management, and the results have been evidenced by our business performance and the number and quality of the creative awards won in 2008 - leading to our number three position in the Creativity League of SA. The time is now right for us to go it alone - well, just with the support of the largest network in the world, that is.”
Largest consolidated agency network
According to Advertising Age 2009, DDB Worldwide Communications Group is the largest consolidated agency network in the world. DDB also has been frequently ranked as the most awarded agency network in the world by Creativity magazine and The Gunn Report, among others. It has more than 200 offices in over 90 countries.
Commented Chris Moerdyk, marketing and media analyst and Bizcommunity.com columnist on the acquisition, "For a long time after its inception, Jupiter, quite rightly avoided a tie-up with any of the big global agency groups in order to not only preserve its independence but also to avoid becoming embroiled in a lot of the chopping and changing that was going on at the time. Inevitably, of course, Jupiter seemed to choose its time well to get involved with a global group when being a loner no longer held any advantage.
“This latest situation is hardly unexpected and not out of the ordinary and it seems to me that Jupiter has once again chosen its moment well to make sure it is prepared for what is undoubtedly going to become a rough ride for everyone in the industry - not something any agency wants to do without having a really big brother holding some of your shares.
“Business is business”
“It's a pity that this had to happen at the expense of a very good and rewarding relationship with DDB but when it comes [down] to the crunch, business is business and sometimes tough choices have to be made to do what is best for the company. "
Concluded Lomas, “Working for the DDB brand is something very special: The culture it inspires and the commitment to creativity is in my opinion unsurpassed within the agency world. We look forward to continuing to play more of a role in contributing to that impeccable reputation here in SA. We do, however, wish Jupiter well with their new partners at WPP."
Simone Puterman (@SimoneAtLarge) is currently editor-at-large at Marklives.com and deputy chair of the Sanef online editors subcommittee. After majoring in psychology and linguistics at Rhodes University, and then completing her honours in psychology, she has been in the world of B2B publishing since 1997, with 7.5 year stints at both WriteStuff Publishing and Bizcommunity.com (March 2006-August 2013). Email her at .
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