The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa)

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The Jupiter Drawing Room was once one of South Africa's most admired creative agencies. After several years in which it enjoyed complete independence from any global networks, it agreed a deal in 2007, not to be acquired, but to itself acquire the local operations of DDB Worldwide. That arrangement was cancelled two years later following the creation of an alliance with rival marketing giant WPP, which agreed to buy a 49% shareholding in Jupiter in early 2009. The South African agency retains standalone status within WPP, and has established its own micro-network, with licensed outposts in several neighbouring African countries. However, performance has declined dramatically in recent years, leading to the closure of its original Jo'burg HQ in 2017.

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Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Sep 2017: In the extraordinary conclusion to a sad tale of decline and fall. South Africa's one-time advertising powerhouse The Jupiter Drawing Room has closed its doors in Johannesburg following a steady stream of account departures. Famously, the agency won more than one billion rand of new business over just three consecutive days in 2007. Two years later, founder Graham Warsop sold a 49% stake in the business to WPP. Since then, though, the agency's performance has declined steadily. The final blow was the departure of the Barclays/ABSA account last year. The remaining accounts of Jupiter Jo'burg will be assumed by Black Powder, a newly formed independent launched by two senior executives. Jupiter will continue to operate its secondary agency in Cape Town, but this too has been plagued by account losses, notably Hyundai and Diageo's Windhoek beer.

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