Pitch to re-establish global advertising giant as leader in African market
By Ada Anioji
Continental and global ambitions are behind the recent pitch by the global advertising giant, Grey, to re-enter the Nigerian market through its recent affiliation with Centrespread, The Difference has learnt.
According to details made available to our correspondent, GREY, the Adweek Global Agency of the Year 2015, after coming to a conclusion that it had to re-enter Africa’s largest economy in GDP terms if it wanted to play even more strongly as a leader in Africa and the world.
Accordingly then, it conducted due diligence and subsequently appointed Centrespread, one of Nigeria’s largest independent advertising communications groups as its affiliate in the national market.
Under the arrangement, the Centrespread Group, which operates from offices in Lagos and Abuja, is rebranding as Centrespread GREY, and thereby helping to re-establish the global advertising giant as a leader in providing creative and effective full-service marketing solutions across the African continent.
WPP, Grey’s parent company and the world’s largest global media and communications agency network, made the announcement in Singapore, signalling yet another critical step in GREY’s growth strategy of developing its networks in fast growing and important markets and sectors in the MEA region. The Centrespread Group will focus on developing a strong local GREY presence in Nigeria and is another step in GREY’s expansion in key African markets.
Kola Ayanwale, Centrespread CEO, says he is enthusiastic about the alliance with an iconic agency such as GREY. “The GREY Group ranks among the world’s top advertising and marketing organisations, with an enviable global footprint. GREY’s credentials and achievements are impressive and their unique positioning of ‘Famously Effective’ resonates with the same values that have shaped Centrespread into one of Nigeria’s most successful integrated marketing communications agencies over the last three decades. The decision to take on the exciting opportunity of re-establishing GREY in Nigeria and across the continent is one that is met with great enthusiasm by both parties, and we look forward to being an integral part of the continued global success of GREY.”
As a full service, through-the-line communications group, Centrespread has been operating since 1982 and employs about 200 staff in its seven business units. Today, Centrespread is made up of all-inclusive integrated marketing communications units which include Centrespread Advertising; DKK, a full service agency offering the full gamut of marketing communications; Interactive Communications, a digital media and online reputation management agency; Pure Activation, a below-the-line agency focused on presence branding and activations; PR Redline, a Public Relations and Reputation Management agency; KontactPoint, an Out of Home channel company and Mediamore, a media specialist agency.
“Africa is the continent of opportunity for future-focused clients,” said James R. Heekin, Chairman and CEO of GREY Group. “We are delighted to partner with Centrespread, a world-class marketing organization, and look forward to what we’ll accomplish together in Nigeria and beyond in the coming years.”
Nirvik Singh, Chairman and CEO of GREY Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, is confident and energised by the new partnership. “The most important outcome of this exciting partnership is the association with talent and expertise that will re-ignite our efforts in establishing a dynamic Nigerian presence for GREY and will also allow us to truly focus on serving international clients across the African continent”, says Singh.
Grey is the advertising network of Grey Group, which is led by James R. Heekin III, Chairman and CEO. Grey Group ranks among the largest global communications companies. Its parent company is WPP. Under the banner of “Grey Famously Effective Since 1917,” the agency serves a blue-chip roster of many of the world’s best known companies: Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Kellogg’s, Pfizer, Canon, NFL, Boehringer Ingelheim, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Nestlé, Papa John’s and T.J. Maxx. Grey was named ADWEEK’s “Global Agency of the Year” for 2015.
WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings of US$73 billion and revenues of US$19 billion. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs 194,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices across 112 countries. WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the sixth year running. WPP was also named, for the fifth consecutive year, the World’s Most Effective Holding Company in the 2016 Effie Effectiveness Index, which recognises the effectiveness of marketing communications.
Established in 1982, Centrespread is one of Nigeria’s largest independent Agency groups. It services more than 30 of the world’s most respected brands including Kia, Airtel, Heinz, Samsung, MasterCard, Philips, NLPC, KFC, L’Oreal, MoneyGram, Roche, Quick Lotto, MTN (PR), FBN Insurance, Ecobank and Skye Bank.
Centrespread was founded by Kola Ayanwale, a veteran adman of 35 years, fellow of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and former president of the Advertising Agencies Association of Nigeria (AAAN).
The Centrespread Group operates from offices in Lagos and Abuja and consists of Centrespread Advertising; DKK, a full service agency offering the gamut of marketing communications; Interactive Communications, a digital media and online reputation management agency; Pure Activation, a Below-the-line agency focused on presence branding and activations; PR Redline, a Public Relations and Reputation Management agency; KontactPoint, an Out of Home channel company and Mediamore, a media specialist agency.