Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris: FR0000130577, CAC40] has announced the acquisition of The Creative Counsel Group (TCC), the largest integrated below-the-line group of agencies in South-Africa, providing marketing and activation solutions to local and international clients.
Founded in 2001 by co-founders and joint CEOs Ran Neu-Ner and Gil Oved, The Creative Counsel Group boasts over 1,500 talented employees and works with top national and international clients such as Unilever, Clover, Vodacom, Microsoft, Brandhouse and Tiger Brands.
This acquisition will do more than simply boost Publicis Groupe’s presence in South Africa; it will propel the Groupe far ahead of the competition in terms of the breadth and depth of its service offering in this market, across the entire value chain. TCC offers holistic services including creative, strategy and execution of go-to market strategies and activations, large-scale conferencing and events, mass-market insights and strategies,loyalty partnerships, merchandising and retail shopper marketing.
Furthermore, the addition of TCC will specifically strengthen and complement Publicis Worldwide, offering more transformative experiences to clients and their brands through promotional and experiential capabilities at scale,
essential to client business development. Complementing the existing structure and expertise of Publicis Groupe’s multi-door operation in Africa, Publicis Africa Group, which now counts agencies across 35 countries,TCC bridges existing digital and traditional disciplines, enabling clients’ brands to reach their consumers wherever they may be.
The Creative Counsel Group will come under the remit of Publicis Groupe’s agency network - Publicis Worldwide - headed by global CEO, Arthur Sadoun. Ran Neu-Ner and Gil Oved will report to Kevin Tromp, CEO of Publicis Africa Group.
Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Worldwide, commented: “With the addition of The Creative Counsel, our clients will have access to the most innovative ways to promote, engage and educate their target markets about their
products and services. This strategic move positions Publicis Worldwide as the leading creative network in Africa, a key continent for our future development.”
Kevin Tromp observed,”The combination of TCC’s scale, massively entrepreneurial culture, and intimate understanding of the African consumer at every level, is an excellent complement to Publicis' global communication sophistication, deep digital orientation and multi-national mentality. This union creates the most powerful activation and experiential entity on the continent, focused on bringing brands to life in a culturally relevant fashion, for our clients and their consumers.´
Ran Neu-Ner and Gil Oved, co-foundera and joint CEOs of The Creative Counsel Group, said: “The focus is shifting away from the brand and towards the consumer. We’re about touching the heart and mind on a very real level, in a personalized manner, be it on-the-ground, digitally or any other way that results in consumers changing the way they act or transact. The fun part is that this ‘non-traditional’ form of advertising is ever evolving and ultra-dynamic. We wake up every day wondering what are we going to do differently today versus yesterday. Becoming part of Publicis Worldwide enables us to scale our offering and unique blend of conceptual and executional abilities on a global scale. Publicis Worldwide are the masters of merging digital,
creative, strategy and new age thinking and therefore, for us, they are the bigger brother we always wish we had.´
This acquisition follows several others by Publicis Groupe in Africa, including Epic Communications in February 2015, as well as AG Partners, Prima, Owenkessel, MACHINE, Brandsrock, Liquorice and
Lighthouse Digital in 2014. According to ZenithOptimedia South Africa is the world’s 8th fastest growing advertising market between 2013 and 2016. Overall, ad expenditure rose by 4.0% last year and further growth of 7.7% is predicted this year.