McCann South Africa and 1886 Advertising are to merge. The new agency, registered as McCann1886, will begin trading on 1 January 2019. It will be led by 1886's current Managing Director, Derek Coles, and current Chief Creative Officer, Stuart Stobbs.
Fraser Lamb, currently CEO of McCann South Africa, will return to his original role as Executive Chair of McCann Africa. He will support Coles and Stobbs during the handover period.
The new agency's brand portfolio will include Cell C, Steers, Sasfin Bank, Johnnie Walker, J&B, Kulula, Mastercard and Fedex. It will trade out of FCB Africa's Johannesburg campus in Sandton.
According to Group CEO of FCB Africa, Brett Morris, the decision to merge McCann South Africa with 1886 was prompted by a global review conducted by the Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG), which owns both the FCB and McCann global networks.
"McCann1886 will be a larger, stronger and more diverse agency with over 100 employees and an enhanced, integrated strategic, creative and digital offering," he said.
"1886 brings some great talent and creative credentials in brand, retail, experiential, digital and design to the mix while McCann brings talent, established propriety tools and digital and strategic prowess to the merged agency. I wish everyone at McCann1886 the best of luck. We all look forward to witnessing their success."
Coles and Lamb both thanked their employees for their commitment and dedication for the journey so far, and assured them that its going to be an exciting road ahead.
"The rationale for the merger was to form a stronger combined entity that will be able to leverage off of one another's skills, clients and tools to build a stronger foothold in the South African market. This is an exciting opportunity for growth and development and to create an even more diverse integrated creative agency that is a real force to be reckoned with," said Coles.
"The merger also presents a chance for employees' personal growth and development," said Lamb. "Undoubtedly, the new McCann and 1886 business will have its own brand and internal sentiment. I am very confident that the McCann employees I have had the honour of working with will help shape an agency we will all be proud of."