Morrisjones and 76 MotherRussia merge - Advantage Magazine

Morrisjones and 76 MotherRussia merge



Multi award-winning ad agency Morrisjones announced today that it has merged with independent agency 76 MotherRussia. The new agency will be known as Mojo MotherRussia.


The 76 MotherRussia team secured a 60% share in highly-reputed agency Morrisjones to form the new agency. 76 MotherRussia bring with them a portfolio of clients including Selati Sugar, the Government Employees Pension Fund, Pernord Ricard, SABC and Rand Refinery. Morrisjones’ own client repertoire comprises Debonnairs Pizza, Avios, Mugg & Bean and Nestle, to name a few.


The merger follows the departure of Angel Jones from Morrisjones. Jones has left the company to pursue the commercialisation and Africa-wide growth of Homecoming Revolution, a skills repatriation organisation that she started in 2003 but that has thus far operated under the auspices of Morrisjones.


Nina said that she and Angel have enjoyed a successful business partnership over the course of 12 years – breaking many barriers in the advertising sector. However, once Jones decided to pursue opportunities outside of the sector, it became necessary to re-define what the agency would offer the market and which partners would be best placed to move it forward.  “In terms of having the qualities of an ideal partnership, 76 MotherRussia tick all the boxes, and then some” she says.


“Over and above their creative achievements over a short space of time, the 76MotherRussia team has demonstrated a unique understanding of the industry and incredible business acumen (having won some business against even bigger, more established agencies). They’re also really just a cool bunch of guys”.


The merger with 76 MotherRussia will allow the new agency to offer a range of disciplines including: 360º marketing, creative, strategy, brand engagement, social media management, activations, eventing and digital marketing.

handshake gives a glimpse into the agency’s strategy: “When the opportunity presented itself to acquire a credible establishment with an amazing track-record, it was a no-brainer. This will catapult the whole group into the next level, making us a serious industry force to be reckoned with.


In the short-term, it will allow two reputed independent agencies to combine their strengths for a fuller client offering. However, in the longer-term, we want to grow our African footprint – to start a truly African network that serves the continent, whilst ensuring that skills and profits are retained here and not sent offshore.”


The executive team for the new agency will be as follows: Thando Dingaan will be appointed as Managing Director of Mojo MotherRussia, Festus Masekwameng as Executive Creative Director, Melusi Tshabalala as Executive Creative Director and Kholiwe Sinuma as Head of Design & Art Direction. Nina Morris will continue her role as CEO of the new entity.


Thando Dingaan was introduced to the world of advertising through his appointment as MetropolitanRepublic’s founding Managing Director in 2007. Thando and his team went on to win the prized Ad Review Newcomer Ad Agency in 2007 and Campaign of the Year for MTN; while being a nominee for AdFocus Agency Leader of the year.


Thando was a founding director of Hotel de Ville Production Suites (now Embassy Productions), where he played a major role in helping this start-up become a recognised player in the industry in less than 2 years, boasting a client base including The Jupiter Drawing Room (Edcon), MetropolitanRepublic (MTN, Wimpy and FNB), Euro RSCG (Reckitt Benckiser), as well as corporate clients like Stanlib, Nedbank, Massmart and the SABC.


Festus Masekwameng was introduced to advertising in 1999 after discovering the AAA school while dj’ing for the Wits University student radio station. He was studying civil engineering at the time. In 2002, he was appointed by TBWA Hunt Lascaris as a junior copywriter. During his tenure at TBWA, Festus worked on clients such as Tiger Brands, Nandos, Standard Bank, SABC, Sasol, Liberty Life, Nissan, MTN, AIDS, National Brands, Khomanani, Motorola, IMC and IEC.


His first advertising award was at the AAA School of Advertising for Best Student Portfolio in 2001. He then went on to bag student silver Loeries in 2002 for the “Alcoholics Anonymous” and “Arrive Alive” print campaigns; bronze, silver and gold Loeries followed in 2003 for various SABC radio campaigns. He has also netted international awards Clio, One Show, Cannes finalists and three D&Ad entries. In 2004 he was part of the team which received Loerie Golds and Grand Prix for the controversial SABC1 Ya Mampela relaunch TV ad “PF Jones”.


Other accolades since then include Creative Circle TV ad of the year 2005/6, silver and Loerie Gold for the SABC TV licence campaign, creative circle ads of the month, gold and silver Loeries for Sasol’s rugby ad “Two Villages”; silver Loerie and Pendoring for Best Homegrown category for Sasol’s “Soweto All Stars” TV ad.


Festus has served as Executive Member of the Creative Circle since 2005, has completed two years as Director and Creative Director at McCann Erickson and in 2008 won the Financial Mail’s industry New Broom award at the annual Adfocus Awards. Festus was Chairperson of the Loeries in 2010 and continues to serve on the Loerie Awards Committee and Creative Circle Exco.


As a much sought-after judge in the industry, he has sat on jury panels for the Financial Mail’s AdFocus Awards, Finweek’s AdReview Awards, The Pendoring Awards, Loeries, Vuka Awards and recently the Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival. Festus has also judged the ACA APEX Awards for the past 2 years and he is once again part of the judging panel in 2013. He recently completed a Communications Science degree at Unisa.


Melusi Tshabalala is a creative director/copywriter with 15 years’ experience in advertising. He has worked on some of the continent’s biggest brands, at some of the country’s largest agencies, namely Y&R and Leo Burnett. His work has received accolades not only South Africa and internationally, having received his first award in 2001, and his latest in 2012.


Melusi has served on the Loerie Awards Committee, the Creative Circle Executive Committee and has judged the Loerie Awards on several occasions. Melusi has worked on brands such as MTN, Coca-Cola South Africa (Coca-Cola and Fanta), Mercedes-Benz, SAB Miller, Metropolitan Holdings, Liberty Life, Clover-Danone, African Banking Corporation, Celtel, The African National Congress and The Soul City Institute.


Kholiwe Sinuma is a seasoned communications creative, with a graphic design specialisation. Over the past decade in communications, he was worked on some of SA’s blue chip brands including SABC, Vodacom, First National Bank, DTI, Powerade, Power Play, Metropolitan Life and Standard Bank.


Kholiwe has worked for a variety of other SA communications giants including TBWA, Lowe Bull as Head of below-the-line and The Jupiter Drawing Room as Activations Creative Director. He was part of the team that worked on the now Iconic FNB Soweto Cooling Towers, launched the Vodacom 4u brand and was the primary creative on The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz campaign.


“The 76 MotherRussia team and ourselves share a creative results-driven approach to brand communication and we look forward to delivering innovative campaigns together and strengthening the breadth of services we provide to some of the country’s best known brands,” concludes Morris.




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