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GREY Group chooses Volcano as its lead agency in Africa

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JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, May 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- GREY (, Adweek Global Agency of the Year, is re-entering South Africa with immediate effect, having agreed to acquire a majority stake in The Volcano Group, one of South Africa's fastest growing independent advertising communications groups. The Volcano Group will rebrand as GREY Africa, 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 London 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 EMEA region. The Volcano Group will focus on developing a strong local GREY presence in South Africa as well as lead GREY's expansion in key African markets.

Paul Jackson, Volcano's Group Managing Director, says he is immensely proud to be associated 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 guided Volcano to success. The decision to take on the exciting opportunity of re-establishing GREY in South Africa 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.”

As a full service, through-the-line communications group, Volcano has been operating for over 20 years. Today, Volcano is made up of all-inclusive integrated marketing communications units which include Volcano Advertising, Volcano PR and Social, Volcano Design, Volcano Insights as well as Volcano Digital.

Volcano has also been the lead agency in sub-Saharan Africa for ICOM, the world's largest group of independent agencies, having successfully managed a network of 27 agencies throughout the MEA region. “The Volcano Group brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the African marketplace and comes with an outstanding track record,” adds Jackson. “By combining Volcano's integrated marketing and communications capabilities with GREY's proven expertise, I am confident that our multi-faceted service offering will provide clients with a new level of excellence.”

David Patton, President and CEO of GREY EMEA, is confident and energised by the new partnership. “The most important outcome of this exciting partnership is the acquisition of talent and expertise that will re-ignite our efforts in establishing a dynamic South African presence for GREY and will also allow us to truly focus on serving international clients across the African continent”, says Patton.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of GREY. | Twitter: @GreyJHB | #RedToGREY

Media contacts:

Jessica Wheeler

Public Relations Director

Volcano PR & Social

Direct: +27 11 706 3060

Switchboard: +27 11 706 3060

[email protected]

Paul Jackson

Group Managing Director

Volcano Group Southern Africa

Direct: +27 11 706 3060

Switchboard: +27 11 706 3060

[email protected]

David Patton

President & CEO


Direct: +44 (0) 203 037 3284

Switchboard: +44 (0)203 037 3000

[email protected]

About GREY

GREY ( is the advertising network of GREY Group. The GREY Group ranks among the largest global communications companies and its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY). With headquarters in New York City, GREY has 432 offices in 96 countries, operating in 154 cities. “Famously Effective since 1917”, GREY serves a blue chip client roster of many of the world's best known companies and leading brands.

GREY was voted 2014 Agency of the Year by Advertising Age; 2013 Global Agency of the Year by Adweek; 2013 SHOOT Agency of the Year; 2013 and 2012 Euro Effies Agency of the Year and Fast Company named GREY to “The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies”. GREY was honoured in Creativity's A-list of the 10 Most Creative Agencies in the World 2013, as well as taking top honours as Forbes magazine's "Best All-around Ad Agency”.

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About WPP

WPP is the world's largest communications services group with billings of US$72.3 billion and revenues of US$17.3 billion. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs nearly 175,000 people (including associates) in over 3,000 offices across 110 countries.

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WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2013 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the third year running. WPP was also named, for the second consecutive year, the World's Most Effective Holding Company in the 2013 Effie Effectiveness Index, which recognizes the effectiveness of marketing communications.

About Volcano

Volcano Group is Southern Africa's leading independent advertising communications network serving some of the world's best known brands including; Procter & Gamble, Sony, Garmin, Conagra Foods, Tabasco, AkzoNobel Dulux, MARS, Nestlé, Smeg, Thai Airways, VW & Audi. Volcano is currently the African regional co-ordination office for the ICOM Global Network – the world's largest network of independent advertising agencies.

Volcano Group consists of Volcano Advertising, Volcano Design, Volcano Insights, Volcano Digital, Volcano PR and Volcano Social.

For more information, visit