Publicis Finds Synergy In South Africa: Acquires Synergize, Merges With Saatchi

Publicis Groupe this morning announced the restructuring of Saatchi & Saatchi's South African operations, following the acquisition of search agency Synergize.

Publicis said Synergize's 48-person team is being merged with Saatchi's South African operations to form Saatchi & Saatchi Synergize, a 154-person agency with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Synergize CEO Shaune Jordaan has been named CEO of the new consolidated unit, while Synergize Co-Founder Chris Corbet was named COO.

Publicis did not say what was happening to the former Saatchi & Saatchi SA management team, but the company's Web site lists Gail Curtis as Group CEO.

Founded in 1999, Synergize is one of only a few Google Analytics accredited agencies in Africa and the Middle East. In addition to search, it provides general online marketing services, Web design, CMS development, mobile, media, analytics, creative and social media services.



The agency's roster includes mainly regional brands such as Prime Meridian, a South African car insurance company, Car Magazine, Property 24 and Cash Crusaders, a popular local second-hand e-commerce site.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Publicis said South Africa  is projected to be the eighth-fastest-growing ad market in the world between 2013  and 2016, “driving the next wave of ad spend growth.”

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