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VML Expands Global Network to South Africa with Launch of NATIVE VML

David Sable, Global CEO of Y&R and Jon Cook, President and CEO of VML, and Jason Xenopoulos, CEO of NATIVE, announced today the launch of NATIVE VML, subject to regulatory approval.The new entity brings together the two digital brands — one a leading global agency, the other a top South African digital agency. They begin with operations in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“Our global expansion is following a very simple strategy — taking great care in finding the right partner — strong capabilities, of course, but also the right fit in terms of people and culture. We know NATIVE is an extraordinary match on all counts and a great platform for us as we look to build our brand further in the African market,” said Jon Cook, President & CEO of VML.

The launch of NATIVE VML marks a profound step in our history,” said Jason Xenopoulos, CEO of NATIVE. “It will allow us to further drive our growth in South Africa by bringing world-class skills and the power of VML and the whole Y&R Advertising network to the continent.”

“This is a marriage of extraordinary capabilities. NATIVE is South Africa’s premiere full-service digital marketing agency and VML is now one of the world’s leading global digital brands, “ said Yossi Schwartz, Group Chairman of Y&R South Africa. “This is a real stake in the ground for leadership in Africa — an unparalleled opportunity to give our clients consistent digital excellence that is seamlessly united with Y&R.”

Said David Sable: “This is a great day for VML and the broader Y&R network. We have deep roots in Africa, and I believe some of the world’s best talent. Today takes our business forward by advancing our offering with tremendous specialized capabilities. It is also a signal of our real commitment to growth in Africa. With our strong creative heritage here, a great understanding of consumers and a new model for digital, we are making a huge future commitment to the continent.”

NATIVE’s current clients include: Nedbank, GM, Pernod Ricard, Foschini, Standard Bank, RCS, Hollard, JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange), Nestlé and L'Oreal.

For more information about NATIVE, visit: http://www.native.co.za/home.

About VML

VML is a global digital marketing agency with major operations on six continents. Since its founding in 1992, VML has been dedicated to delivering creative solutions at the intersection of marketing and technology.

VML engineers best-in-class digital experiences for some of the most respected and recognized brands in the world, including SAB Miller brands Coors and Coors Light, Carlson Hotels, Colgate-Palmolive, Dell, English Premier League, Gatorade, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Kashi, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, SAP, Southwest Airlines, T-Mobile, U.S. Bank, Wendy’s, Western Union and Xerox.

With a successful track record in digital marketing, VML was named a “Standout Shop” in Ad Age’s annual A-List issue in 2012. Additionally, VML was recognized as a Strong Performer in the Forrester Wave™: U.S. Digital Agencies — Mobile Marketing Strategy and Execution, Q1 2012.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., VML has principal offices in Kansas City, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Sao Paulo, London, Milan, Sydney, Singapore, Mumbai, and Jakarta. VML has been a member of the WPP Group of global communication agencies since 2001. VML, alongside Y&R Advertising, is a part of the Y&R family within WPP. Learn more at vml.com.


NATIVE is a full-service digital agency whose ideas are born digital, but often extend beyond the digital canvas. With a staff compliment of over 160 people across both Johannesburg and Cape Town, NATIVE is one of Africa’s largest digital agencies. We offer a full-range of digital marketing services, from strategy and creative ideation to production and media. Our positioning is simple – “to produce purpose-driven work that lives in people’s live.” This is both a philosophy and a methodology, and with it we are able to forge deep relationships between our clients and their customers.

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