Grey Group Returns to Nigeria, Runs with Centrespread, Ayanwale’s Daughter as COO
Grey Group Africa and Centrespread Nigeria at a media event in Lagos yesterday, consummated an affiliation arrangement with the two agencies officially signing the dotted lines with a resolution to work together as mutual partners to enhance the clients’ businesses.
Starting off on a technical affiliation note, the head of Grey Group delegation, Peter Jackson, CEO, Africa, noted that his team has found the necessary synergy and brand fit in its new partner and will be willing to take up equity investment in Centrespread when the latter deems it fit. “We have a lot in common, the synergy is amazing in terms of our culture and work ethics”, he declared at the formal unveil of the affiliation arrangement at the Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Simultaneously, GREY, Adweek Global Agency of the Year, yesterday, 5th April 2017, announced from its Middle East & Asia office in Singapore that it’s re-entering Nigeria with immediate effect, having appointed Centrespread, one of Nigeria’s largest independent advertising communications groups as its affiliate in that market.
The Centrespread Group, which operates from offices in Lagos and Abuja, according to the statement will rebrand as Centrespread GREY, re-establishing the global advertising giant as a leader in providing creative and effective full-service marketing solutions across the African continent.
WPP, the world’s largest global media and communications agency network, made the announcement in Singapore today, 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.
Reacting to Brandcrunch’s question, “What is the place of WPP’s relationship with Scanad in the current arrangement”, Mr. Jackson says, this arrangement is purely between Grey Africa and Centrespread. He disabuses insinuations that someday someone might want to warehouse the Grey as part of some other agency brands under one roof. “I am aware of the WPP-Scanad deal, I am not saying it was wrong but we were not part of it”, he declares.
Making his comments on the new affiliation relationship with Grey, Kola Ayanwale, Group CEO, Centrespread, alluding to his agency’s 15 years relationship with FCB, 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, Ayanwale added.
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.
From his Singapore office, 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.
Another high-point of the media parley was the introduction of Centrespread Grey’s new COO, Tola Obi, nee Ayanwale. Tola, a graduate of Accounting and Economics from the University of Texas had been head of the group’s Interactive CT, a digital marketing and online reputation company before her new responsibility.