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Hippocampus and Old Friends Young Talent announce merger

Hippocampus and Old Friends Young Talent (OFYT) have announced they will merge, as OFYT effective 1 March 2023.
The two agencies will merge effective March 2023. Source: Supplied.
The two agencies will merge effective March 2023. Source: Supplied.

Culture fit

As two long-standing, independent agencies, this move is seen as a natural business and culture fit. The new agency believes it will see a more robust spread of disciplines being offered to clients and the agency is set to continue its growth with 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 officer)), 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.

Bottom line

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 includes the likes of Kia, Hi-Q Tyres and Autocare, Tracker, Woolworths Food and 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.

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