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Publicis Groupe Announces OwenKessel Acquisition



New relationship marks continued South African growth for Publicis Groupe

Publicis Groupe Announces OwenKessel Acquisition

Publicis Groupe announced today the acquisition of leading South African creative agency, OwenKessel. 

Founded in 2008 by Felix Kessel and Vaughan Owen, OwenKessel is based in Johannesburg with 

offices in Capetown. The agency employs 80 professionals and services an array of blue-chip clients such as, Amstel Lager and Tanqueray Gin (brandhouse), TOTAL, DStv (South Africa’s leading Satellite TV network), Zodiac, Aspen pharmacare and also the Diageo Reserve Brands portfolio across sub-Saharan Africa. 

The agency offers a full range of communications services, including consulting, creative, online marketing, social media and branded content. In 2013, OwenKessel was counted amongst the country’s top creative agencies at Cannes Lions, D&AD, London International Awards and locally at the Loeries, was a finalist at the South African “Agency of the year” awards and won the 2013 Heineken global marketing award for the brand. 

The agency will be merged with the multi-door Publicis Groupe Africa network. CEO Felix Kessel will continue his current role in the new entity and report to Kevin Tromp, CEO of Sub-Saharan Africa for Publicis Worldwide. 

Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Worldwide said “South Africa is a key market with a large potential for growth. We have embarked on a very exciting journey in South Africa to bring the best capabilities and talents to our clients. With OwenKessel, we are adding great creative firepower that will ultimately benefit our local and international clients.” 

Felix Kessel, CEO of OwenKessel, added, “It’s not often that you find two groups of people who actually share the same vision and objectives. The opportunity to drive this new agency to new creative heights is incredibly exciting to all of us. We are also looking forward to becoming part of Publicis Worldwide and play a significant role beyond South Africa.” 

This acquisition follows that of Lighthouse Digital in February 2014, AML in January 2014 and Synergize in December 2013, evidencing Publicis Groupe’s strong commitment to continued expansion across Africa. According to ZenithOptimedia, South Africa is the eighth fastest growing advertising market in the world between 2013 and 2016. 

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