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Publicis Groupe continues to expand its presence in South Africa with acquisition of Owenkessel

April 8, 2014


PUBLICIS GROUPE announced today the acquisition of leading South African agency, OwenKessel.

Founded in 2008 by Felix Kessel and Vaughan Owen, OwenKessel is based in Johannesburg with offices in Capetown. The agency employs 80 professionnals and services an array of blue-chips clients such as, Amstel Lager and Tancqueray Gin (brandhouse), TOTAL, DStv (South Africa's leafin Satellite TV network), Zodiac, Aspen pharmacare and also the Diageo Reserve Brands portfolio across sub-Saharan Africa.

The agency offers a full range of communication services, including consulting, creative, online marketing, social media and branded content. In 2013, OwenKessel was counted amongst the countr's top creative agencies at Cannes Lions, D&AD, London International Awards and locally at the Loeries, was a finalist at the South Africa "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 Group 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 a 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".

The 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 eight fatest growing advertising market in the world between 2013 and 2016.