Draftfcb group CEO John Dixon. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Draftfcb group CEO John Dixon. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

AFTER 19 years with advertising agency Draftfcb, mobile telecommunications group Vodacom this week notified the firm that it would take its business elsewhere.

Vodacom contributed about 10% of Draftfcb’s revenue, the loss of which would lead to restructuring that would affect the agency’s staff, said Draftfcb group CEO John Dixon on Thursday.

"We will be looking to redeploy as many people as possible," he said. "We are working on the restructuring plan as we speak and have committed to communicate with staff again by Tuesday."

He added: "Winning and losing accounts is part of advertising — we have been in this situation before and have always emerged stronger."

Draftfcb’s clients include power utility Eskom, car maker Toyota, insurance group Santam and the National Lottery.

Richard Boorman, spokesman for Vodacom, said the company had decided to review the brand account and notified Draftfcb in early December of its plans.

After making business presentations on January 31, Draftfcb and two other agencies with links to Vodafone, the UK parent company of Vodacom, were short-listed. The Draftfcb contract was not renewed.

"We’re conducting a review of our agency arrangements, but I can’t provide any further details at this stage," Mr Boorman said.

Vodacom is expected to announce its new advertising agency on Friday.

"We have decided to take this setback as an opportunity to build a better agency. We are energised by the prospect of focusing our passion and resources on our current clients," Mr Dixon said.