Independent agency stalwarts merge

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Old Friends Young Talent and Hippcampus combine forces

As the last few years have demonstrated, the way we do business will continue to evolve and as such, Hippocampus and Old Friends Young Talent (OFYT) are excited to announce they will merge, as OFYT effective 1 March 2023.

As two long-standing, independent agencies, this move is a natural business and culture fit. With complementary skills that will see a more robust spread of disciplines and future-fit capabilities, being offered to clients – old and new, the agency is set to continue its current growth trajectory, with its offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The Partnership team will be made up of Paul Newman (CEO), Carol Gallarelli (Group Managing Director), Chris Gotz (Group Creative Office)), Melusi Tshabalala (Executive Creative Director) and Guy Parton will operate in a leadership position, alongside the Partners. 

Newman believes the merger will set OFYT apart from other agencies as both businesses are committed to the upliftment and development of young talent.

Gallarelli says the merger has come at an exciting time for both agencies. “With recent account wins in both businesses, we look forward to creating work that impacts the bottom line for our clients, puts brands on the map, moves the public and sparks interesting conversation within the South African market.

The new combined client list boasts the likes of Kia, Hi-Q Tyres and Autocare, Tracker, Woolworths Food & Home, The Crazy Store, Birkenstocks, and Campari Group (Aperol, Bisquit & Duboche, Bulldog and SkYY), Douglas Green (Tall Horse, Franschhoek Cellars, Old Road Wine Company) and d-school Afrika. 

Operating out of the Johannesburg office, Tshabalala looks forward to weaving his creative wand with a growing team. “The OFYT office in Johannesburg has been a hive of creativity and adding these new clients and new creative talent to the team excites me. The work we’ve recently done on brands like Kia and Birkenstock is just a taste of what can be achieved.”

Remaining proudly independent, OFYT will see its existing staff count of 46 increases by an additional 21 new friends from Hippocampus, offering the best in breed creative capabilities and complementary skills. OFYT is also a Level 2 BBBEE company, with a nimble and reinvigorated way of working which has stood the agency in good stead over the last two years.