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