Publicis Groupe Africa Acquires South African Ad-Tech Firm Popimedia

Publicis Groupe Africa, a unit of world’s third-largest advertising agency  Publicis Groupe, said it has wholly acquired Johannesburg-based Ad-tech company Popimedia in a deal worth more than $22 million (350 million rands), memeburn reported.

This will be a first investment in an online advertising firm in Africa for the French-based Ad giant, which has made several other acquisition on the continent — particularly in South Africa’s traditional Ad agencies.

Popimedia has extensive international business that help brands in optimizing digital and social media.

Publicis Africa, which operated in 35 countries on the continent with a network of 51 agencies, investment in Popimedia reflects an increase in the role of social media in helping African companies reach their target clients.

“The acquisition shows that social and digital media is no longer a nice to have, but critical to brand growth in current markets,” Media Update quoted Daniel Levy, CEO of Popimedia, saying.

“As such specialist skills such as ours have become a necessity for communication agencies and clients looking to deliver phenomenal results.”

While social media is still considered by many top African business executive as “something good to have”, its role in advertising on the continent has for long been almost insignificant as companies prefer traditional media including newspapers, radio and TV.

But the rapid growth in smartphone use in the region over the last few years coupled by a largely youthful population is quickly making social media a serious advertising tool for business looking to reach the market.

According to a Mobile Phone Tracker report released  by the International Data Corp (IDC) in mid 2015, more and more Africans are  ditching their feature phones for smartphones as Android and iOS supported devices become cheaper.

The reports showed that feature phones, which have limited internet access due to their low memory space,  sale dropped 20 percent year-on-year and only 27 percent of theses cellphones will be sold in Africa and the Middle East by 2019.

On the other hand, smartphones shipment to Africa are seen rising to 155 million units percent in 2015, after jumping 66 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, with 47 percent of cellphones sold in the quarter being smartphones.

The telecommunication industry in Africa has witnessed a revolution especially with the onset of the handset mobile phones. Mobile phones have changed the ways companies, government agencies and other institutions deal with citizen in many African countries.

Apart from easing communication, the wide use of mobile phones has boosted the economic output of individuals living on the continent. It is estimated that more than half of sub-Saharan Africa’s adult population is now connected to a mobile phone. This has quickly increasing financial inclusivity through mobile money.

Kevin Tromp, Publicis Africa Group CEO, the acquisition of Popimedia will provide clients across the continent and beyond with tools and skills that provide measurable competitive advantage via social and digital media. Source: AFK Insider

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