A NEAT SWITCH

Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

SWITCH GROUP, this coun­try’s third big­gest de­sign and brand­ing con­sul­tancy, has merged its Cape Town of­fice with Burns Strate­gic Plan­ning. That adds an­other 16 staff to Switch’s tal­ent pool, pos­si­bly lift­ing it ahead of HKLM (ranked No 1 in last year’s AdRe­view, based on a staff com­ple­ment of 70).

Sec­ond spot was oc­cu­pied by The Brand Union. Rank­ings are based on the size of staff, as in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies no longer dis­close their fi­nan­cial sta­tus. Both agen­cies have been col­lab­o­rat­ing for four years, with Burns ac­ti­vat­ing many client strate­gies through Switch’s spe­cial­ist de­sign team.

“Our phi­los­o­phy is called ‘de­sign with in­tegrity’,” says Switch Cape MD Si­mon Aren­hold. “It recog­nises the bal­ance be­tween in­tu­ition and logic, cre­ativ­ity and strat­egy. Burns has the abil­ity to give us a strate­gic ba­sis for our cre­ativ­ity.”

Adds Johnny John­son: “We wanted to be a strat­egy agency in­de­pen­dent of tac­tics and free to sug­gest some­thing other than ad­ver­tis­ing. But we need to own the process of con­vert­ing that strat­egy into creative ex­cel­lence. We merged with Cape Town on the un­der­stand­ing it pro­vided its strate­gic in­put from Cape Town.”

Switch is go­ing in­ter­na­tional, with offices in Lon­don and south­ern Africa and is looking at Dubai.

Tough con­di­tions are good news for it, be­cause it’s a good idea to work on in­for­ma­tion and not just in­tu­ition. “Our rai­son dêtre was the in­de­pen­dence of strat­egy. Prob­lem was the frus­tra­tion of not be­ing able to ac­ti­vate it.”

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