Brands and marketers now have access to a list of black-owned, and black women-owned, media companies and suppliers.
South African marketers can now access a master list of black-owned, and black women-owned, media companies and suppliers to service the marketing and communications sector. The Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS) now has over 50 agencies that have signed up to be part of its ‘A list’.
Defining the criteria of ‘A-list’ companies was very simple, says IAS CEO and founder, Johanna McDowell. “… all we wanted was to know as the starting point was their ownership structure – a minimum of 51% black ownership or black woman ownership across the 13 facets of marketing communications,” she told The Media Online.
The 13 sectors were advertising above line, digital, below line/point of sale, promotions, shopper, activations, design and branding, media planning and buying, PR, commercial/video production, events and event management, research and production/printing.
“We used our database of agencies as a starting point and then we called for submissions through our extensive marketing and PR campaign,” said McDowell. “We have been working on this specifically since February 2016 although we have been sourcing general information on agencies for 10 years.”
McDowell said the IAS also looked at the location of the agency, its shareholding structure, current BEE and expected BEE in the new codes, details of the top team, size of the agency, client list and latest credentials.
“This database is being continuously updated and is available to those marketers who wish to subscribe to this information on a regular basis. As a result of being able to supply this database on a non-exclusive basis, the IAS is able to keep the costs quite low for each participating marketer. The fee charged will entitle the client to have access to the information for a 12-month period on demand” she said.
McDowell said clients would tell the IAS what they were looking for following which the company would “set up meetings, arrange credentials sessions, chemistry sessions etc.”
She said it was particularly important to bring more black women into the industry. “The B-BEE scorecard and rules for the sector provide for additional points for black women owned agencies as there is a real intention – way overdue – of bringing more black women into the industry,” she said. “Inclusion in the sector needs a new and unique way of doing things and by using this list as a stepping stone for progress, the opportunities available for black owned agencies operating in South Africa are limitless as it exposes them to high end domestic and international clients looking to gain a foot hold in the local market.”
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