BBDO buys Network to up African presence

BBDO is bolstering its presence in South Africa with the acquisition of Network Advertising, the Johannesburg creative hotshop.

BBDO is bolstering its presence in South Africa with the

acquisition of Network Advertising, the Johannesburg creative

hotshop.



It will be merged with the BBDO-owned Berry Bush in Capetown to create

Network Berry Bush, the country’s fourth-largest agency.



Michael Baulk, who oversees BBDO operations in Africa and the Middle

East as well as being the chairman of BBDO Europe, flew to Johannesburg

last weekend to complete the deal.



The acquisition is part of a concerted effort by BBDO to rebuild its

business in South Africa after it pulled out of the country in the

mid-80s at the height of its political isolation.



Baulk said: ’One of my tasks since taking over as European chairman last

year has been to strengthen our creativity in key markets and South

Africa is one of them.’



BBDO chiefs are looking to capitalise on South Africa’s improving

economic and political stability in the post-Mandela era and see the

country as an entry point into the rest of Africa.



This week’s agreement culminates four months of negotiations with the

Network partners - the creative director, Mike Schalit, and the managing

director, Keith Shinley - who led a breakaway from TBWA Hunt Lascaris

five years ago.



It is understood that the Network partners will have substantial

minority stakes in the merged agency with earn-out options.



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