A NEAT SWITCH
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.”