The LAB to become first local ad agency to launch initial public offering (IPO)


The LAB to become first local ad agency to launch initial public offering (IPO)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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The LAB, one of Jamaica's leading advertising agencies, announced its intention last week to float an initial public offering (IPO) on the Jamaican Junior Stock Exchange. The listing will be arranged by NCB Capital Markets.

Chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of The LAB, Kimala Bennett, stated why her company has decided to list at this time.

“The LAB has been in advertising/production for 11 years and has been involved in guiding several of Jamaica's leading brands for nearly half of that time.

“We have been growing steadily with consistent financial performance. With several prospects at hand, we believe now is the ideal time to engage this opportunity.”

The LAB, according to Bennett, is a strategy to execution advertising agency and production house, with three business units: agency, film production, and media facilitation services.

The 11-year-old millennial-run firm has seen great success leveraging its roots as a film production house to create ground-breaking ads for several well-known brands including but not limited to: Grace Kennedy, NCB, Digicel, HEART Trust/NTA, and JPS. The creative agency's work has won several international awards from the American Advertising Federation (ADDY awards).

Some leading local brands have gained competitive advantage by investing in creative advertising across multiple platforms.

According to general manager at The LAB, Tashara Lee Johnson, the shift is timely, as worldwide advertising has become an essential service.

“Because business has no boundaries and consumers have shorter attention spans, in order to stay in the game, brands need compelling visual content on a constant basis, Digital is 24/7 and agencies have to feed that need.”

The rapid evolution of the international media landscape has sent the $USD73 trillion global advertising industry into alert mode, as local agencies have begun to benefit from the demand created by the digital boom.

Bennett notes that listing will be a key step for The LAB to get a slice of this market share.

“Advertising and film-making in Jamaica are poised to break through in the region and in the world. The LAB team is preparing to tap into some of that market share.

“In a larger market however, we will need wider service offerings. Listing would afford us more equipment in inventory, additional human resources and the skills upgrades to ensure consistent quality and efficiency as we scale up.”

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