BCW Africa announces Major Black Shareholding in repositioning strategy

BCW Africa, a leading African communications agency, has announced that it has concluded the final transaction that brings its black shareholding to 51 percent. BCW Africa is headquartered in Johannesburg and is the hub for the BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) branded partner network across the continent. BCW and BCW Africa are part of WPP, a creative transformation company.

Commenting on the transaction, BCW Africa Founder and CEO, Robyn de Villiers said: “Whilst we qualify as a Qualifying Small Enterprise (QSE) in terms of the Marketing Advertising and Communications Charter (MAC) and are therefore not required to attain a 51% black shareholding, we believe that concluding this transaction shows our commitment not only to the needs of the country, but also to our large clients for whom the 51% shareholding is important.

“Our black shareholding is held in two trusts which were established for the benefit of our previously disadvantaged team members as well as the staff of the other WPP companies operating in South Africa,” added de Villiers.

For 30 years, De Villiers and her team have been on an African journey, building an award-winning communications network, counseling some of the world’s most admired brands and contributing to the growth of the communications industry across the continent.

“Dedication to skills development, collaboration and growing partnerships is the bedrock of BCW Africa’s philosophy and behaviour,” De Villiers said.

In October 2020, BCW Africa extended its 20+ year old, well-known Starting Blocks Internship Programme across the continent, going virtual for the first time and attracting 45 participants hailing from 10 countries across Africa – Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Mauritius, Eswatini, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa. The expansion of the programme is part of BCW Africa’s ongoing commitment to its Africa network partners and to the up-and-coming talent the continent offers.

BCW Africa’s 30 years of success is based on a foundation of partnership with colleagues across 50+ markets in Africa, business partners, clients, suppliers and staff. “Today’s significant milestone is an indication of this partnership approach, signaling the agency’s commitment to South Africa and Africa and to client requirements,” concluded de Villiers.


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