Y&R Johannesburg Sells 30% Stake to Black Investors

17 January 2003

With a heedful eye on the South African government’s black empowerment program, WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam Gitam – the fourth largest agency in South Africa – announced Wednesday it has parted with a 30% stake to a consortium of unnamed black investors, Memeza QRX.

Lips are zipped about the amount changing hands, but WPP makes no secret of the fact that it put up the cash for the stake. It did not comment on the terms of the funding.

The world’s largest agency holding company has followed the example of most other large national and international shops operating in South Africa by bringing in black investors, conscious of the fact that this is now a prerequisite to the handling of any government business.

According to Y&RG ceo Yossi Schwartz, two of the new investors will join the agency’s board and all will take an active role – especially in the soliciting of new business.

Today (Friday) another global network, Publicis-owned Leo Burnett, will make a similar empowerment-driven announcement.

Data sourced from: AdAgeGlobal.com; additional content by WARC staff