More groups look at South African offices

British and US design consultancies are considering setting up in South Africa as the market continues to open up. – US-based identity consultant Siegel & Gale has already opened an office in Johannesburg as a joint venture with sister advertising company

British and US design consultancies are considering setting up in South Africa as the market continues to open up.

US-based identity consultant Siegel & Gale has already opened an office in Johannesburg as a joint venture with sister advertising company Bates South Africa, and other consultancies are looking at similar options.

Siegel & Gale’s office is managed by Marilyn Dougal, who formerly ran a non-governmental organisation called Endangered Wildlife Trust in the republic.

Dougal is initially looking to recruit two designers locally in the next couple of months. They will then be trained in Britain.

“There are a lot of opportunities here because of the changed political situation, and companies are reinvesting,” says Dougal.

Design work includes simplifying corporate literature – which must now appear in 11 official languages – and presenting large companies to appeal to “a larger and less sophisticated market”, adds Dougal. But sources say that Western design groups are targeting “the big juicy clients” such as multinationals reinvesting in the region.

Lloyd Northover Citigate parent Citigate Communications is understood to be setting up in the republic. The Lloyd Northover consultancy’s creative director John Lloyd says: “If the group moves we will move with them in some form.”

PR group Lowe Bell will offer design services through its design interest, London-based Smithfield Design, when it open its Cape Town office in May.

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