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Starcom MediaVest Group merges with Lighthouse Digital: now SMG Lighthouse

Starcom MediaVest Group South Africa (SMG) has announced that its parent company — Publicis Groupe — has acquired the digital consultancy, Lighthouse Digital.

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As part of the merger deal, Lighthouse Digital co-founder Aaron van Schaik will be the CEO of the newly rebranded SMG Lighthouse, and report to SMG President, Dynamic Markets, Iain Jacob.

Jacob says that this follows a few acquisitions announced by the Publicis Groupe of late, and “fortifies our position as the continent’s leading digital marketing operation.”

Lighthouse Digital was founded as a specialist digital media agency by Steven Waidelich and Aaron van Schaik in 2009. It claims to be the first agency in Africa to provide clients with a proprietary real-time reporting dashboard, serving as the “leader in programmatic media buying in South Africa.”

Big client took notice of what Lighthouse Digital offers because since launch the agency has gone on to work with notable blue chip clients such as Microsoft, SABMiller, Mastercard, General Motors, Investec, HTC, FNB and Vodacom — running campaigns in over 14 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are in growth mode in South Africa and recognise its importance as a market and a hub for the entire continent,” adds Jacob, “with the acquisition of Lighthouse Digital, SMG in South Africa will be a wholly integrated agency with digital at its core.”

Lighthouse Digital garnered a number of achievements including the Bookmarks Award for Best Media Campaign 2013, and Assegai Best Mobile Campaign, 2012.

van Schaik adds: “Starcom MediaVest Group has a solid reputation in Africa and around the world, and it’s a pleasure to be joining the SMG family. Aligning with SMG gives us global scale and the ability to offer our clients a holistic service complete with tools and solutions they won’t get anywhere else.”

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