- Big shots losing, smaller shots winning
- Multibillion industry in turmoil
- Top Ad agencies opt for cost cutting to stay afloat
- Small agencies biggest winners
- International affiliations dump struggling agencies
- Job losses in the advertising business increase
Business ground in Uganda continues to get slippery in the over 600 billion shilling Uganda advertising industry; currently made up of native companies, internationals and regional Players.
It’s been especially hard for the bigger shots, some of whom have lost business due to dubious dealings with company executives of their clients while others have been simply dumped due to uncreative work coupled with unrealistically huge service charges.
Big boys panting as clients move
Scanad Uganda, JWT, Metro, Fireworks and Moringa have so far been the biggest losers. Scanad Uganda lost out on top advertiser Airtel’s media buying budget which accounted for upto 70% of the total annual budget of over 14billion.
JWT lost Vodafone Uganda meaning upto 4bn shillings gone through the door. Metro lost MTN, Fireworks lost Crown beverages, while Moringa lost Nile Breweries and MultiChoice – accounting for upto 15 billion gone.
Of course this has come with implications on the human resource makeup in these agencies cutting across departments.
Moringa recently recently laid off a number of senior staff including creative, account executives and the Managing Director himself! This coincided with now former NBL MD Daniel Ogong, just about two weeks before.
Scanad had to let go of their apparently highly tactical but reportedly very pricey Country Manager and the Head of Strategy, while JWT let go of upto less than half of their team.
Global affiliations dump strugglers
Agency business across the world descends from about three major pillars and here in Uganda, it’s mainly WPP-Scangroup, Omicom Group and Publicis Group. But the very foundations of these blocks have been shaken.
Moringa360, formerly Moringa Ogilvy was under Ogilvy Africa, until recently.
Nada Andersen’s StarLeo lost the Leo Burnett affiliation after losing the Africell account to BrandVision DDB.
The bug that hit them also took their Ogilvy affiliation away, meaning they also fall out of WPP-Scangroup under which Ogilvy & Mather Africa operates. “We don’t know how the Metropolitan Republic, also under WPP, will turn out. What we know is, they have quit their plush office in Kololo for a more affordable shared residence in Wandegeya,” a famous blogger who preferred incognito noted.
Ad king Scanad also struggling
Scangroup’s step kid, H+K Strategies, have also packed their bags from their USD 1500 a month executive offices at Rwenzori Courts and joined the struggling JWT at Acacia Place.
While, Fireworks has recalled their PR and Digital arm, Brainchild Burson Marsteller to Legacy house in a bid to cut double rent costs.
And much as Moringa said they are strong enough with the current team, they are apparently pursuing affiliation to another pride in order to keep the confidence levels.
Small agencies eat big
Smaller local agencies have consolidated their powers.
BrandVision recently secured affiliation with Omnicom Group making them brothers with TBWA-Limelight and changing their name to BrandVision DDB.
Corporate image under the tutelage of advertising guru Muhereza Kyamutetera is doing good with Bell, Uganda Waragi.
MAAD advertising and Fideli have remained stable while Aggrey & Clifford has stayed rising.