Lindsay Smithers-FCB buys Cape Town agency

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JOHANNESBURG -- Lindsay Smithers-FCB, South Africa's third biggest advertising agency, has bought 100% of the equity of Bosman Johnson, a creatively strong Cape Town agency ranked 20th. Bosman Johnson Managing Director Michael Bosman will become group chief executive officer of the enlarged group Jan. 1, and Stefania Ianigro Johnson, his creative director, becomes the second group creative director. Foote Cone & Belding holds 24% of the equity of Lindsay Smithers, which reported gross income last year of just under $16m. Bosman Johnson's income was $2.8m. Lindsay Smithers' Cape Town office will be merged with Bosman Johnson, and the combined unit will be known as Bosman Johnson-FCB.

The acquisition neatly addresses a number of problems facing Smithers. Its previous chief executive, John Sinclair, died of a heart attack last year, and former chief Len van Zyl, who had spent some time heading FCB's Philadelphia office before returning to South Africa, was brought out of retirement as caretaker CEO with the task of finding a successor. Then it lost its creative director, who emigrated to Australia. A couple of major account losses followed, and the agency was pushed out of second place in last year's agency ranking by TBWA Hunt Lascaris.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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