Media Moves… TheMediaOnline’s weekly round up of people, accounts and media business moves. Spark Media one year on, still making moves. Creative Spark appoints Felleng Sekha as chairperson of the Board. Nine SA judges for Cannes Lions. Marc Lailvaux appointed Group sales manager of Jordan & Co. Make words matter with the Writers’ Bloc. Newstag adds CNN to video news service. New Kantar customised consumer measurement tools licensed to Ask Africa, TGI in SA.
This week’s BIG move: Spark Media one year on, still making moves
It’s been nearly a year since NAB and Habari merged to create SPARK Media. We caught up with CEO Gill Randall to find out more about the journey. A major move has been the appointment of Marc du Plessis as joint CEO, and Cape Town based COO, John Bowles reducing his role in Spark, and launching his own media sales house, Turn Left Media that will handle clients such as LinkedIn and the Washington Post. Bowles will handle SPARK’s blue chip clients in the Western Cape too.
“The key take-out from this past year was the vast knowledge we gained, and the valuable business lessons we learnt. We have all up-skilled heavily into the online space, and our “traditional” team is now well-versed in all things digital,” Randall says.
She adds that the biggest challenge was merging two very different cultures. “This resulted in many of the Habari staff leaving. This ‘staffing’ issue was compounded by a shortage of experienced digital sales people. To overcome this, we started our own Digital Sales Academy funded entirely by Spark Media. This project has produced 14 trained interns to date,” she says.
Randall says Spark’s strategy was to revert its original core business focus, prior to the Habari merger. “We know local (media) and we know retail and our purpose is to help national clients win local battles,” she says. “To this end, we will continue to concentrate on our traditional local papers and current owned and part-owned digital assets i.e. local news network, etc. Going forward we will look for additional partners and platforms that “fit” with our focus – a 360 degree solution for location-based marketing strategies,” she explains.
Randall says if Bowles was completely cutting ties with SPARK it would be “devastating” as he is part of the Caxton/Spark family. “Fortunately, he will still be involved in the role of caretaking our Cape Town based blue chip clients. Alongside this, he will be setting up an entrepreneurial venture called Turn Left Media, a boutique digital sales house, focusing on the B2B and high net-worth individual, markets”.
Randall says of Du Plessis’ dual CEO role that they will have clear responsibilities, “optimising our strengths in our areas of focus”.
“In a nutshell, I will concentrate on the client and sales marketing strategy as well as the Spark Media brand, as well as the issues of culture and staff development. Marc will focus on business strategy, finance, operations, new partner acquisition etc,” says Randall.
“Marc and I know the value of continual communication and, collaboration and fortunately we have absolute clarity on the future vision of Spark Media.”
Who’s moved where
Creative Spark appoints Felleng Sekha as chairperson of the Board.
Creative Spark, the award-winning, specialist digital agency that was recently acquired by M&C Saatchi PLC, has announced it has appointed renowned ICT expert and pioneer, Felleng Sekha, to chair its new board.
The Johannesburg and Cape-Town based agency serves an array of local, African and international clients, offering web, app and digital development and design services. Creative Spark also produces high-quality content marketing and production services in the realm of social media for a variety of companies. The agency is also known for publishing the successful suite of online media brands, Memeburn.com, Ventureburn.com, Gearburn.com and others.
“We are privileged to have someone of Felleng’s calibre and experience as the company’s chairperson of the board. It marks another highlight for the company since it was recently acquired by M&C Saatchi PLC last year,” says Matthew Buckland, managing director..
Sekha was one of the pioneers in Africa’s ICT public policy and regulation, managing diverse interests and charting a difficult course in achieving policy coherence and consistency. That same intrepid spirit drove her to successfully pursue business opportunities in uncharted territories, resulting in successful implementation of MTN in Nigeria, one of the most complex operational environments in Africa.
Nine SA judges for Cannes Lions
Nine South African creative experts will be joining the 387 judges at this year’s 63rd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which will take place between 18 and 25 June. Together this esteemed panel, who will be judging categories ranging from Design Lions, to Film Lions, to Outdoor Lions to Media Lions – and many more, will decide who receives the glory and the privilege of a Cannes Lions award.
Nathan Reddy, Suhana Gordhan, Rob McLennan, Marc Taback, Emma Carpenter, Jonathan Beggs, Eoin Welsh, Fran Luckin and Jenny Glover will be the local talent joining a global network of top creatives.
“The judges chosen from South Africa this year are going to be playing such a significant role at the international festival – the Cinemark team is so excited for them. We are also thrilled that they will be rubbing shoulders with creative greats like Simon Pegg, Mindy Karling, Anna Wintour and David Copperfield. This year’s festival is going to be incredible,” says Tshireletso Yvonne Diogo, Marketing Manager and Account Executive of Media Sales for Cinemark.
Marc Lailvaux appointed group sales manager of Jordan & Co
Marc Lailvaux has recently been appointed sales manager for Bronx Men and Woman, as well as Olympic International for Jordan & Co and Bolton Footwear.
Lailvaux believes that his approach to selling and marketing is different. “It’s still very early to make a clear judgement, but I think my approach to selling and supplying the market is different. I see my approach as relationship orientated and communication driven. I value the need to be familiar with the market i.e. gaining market insight direct from the source and adapting that information from the environment to utilise for future prospects. I really do believe it’s necessary to study the market to provide the right product to the right customer. Sales is science – it’s about understanding people and society and how to give them the absolutely best service – on product, customer enquiry, delivery and execution of sales pitch.”
Lailvaux, who will be responsible for all sales related activities, says his role will include working with regional sales agents and their teams to achieve targets set for each season. “I’ll also be tasked with problem solving and to maintain a strong bond between supplier and retailer. Furthermore, I’ll assist the marketing team with feedback on how the market place responds to advertising campaigns, point of sale and our social media platforms.”
Who’s making moves
Make words matter with the Writers’ Bloc
In 2015, a group of talented media professionals, with a combined 50 years of experience in the communications industry, joined forces to create a progressive company offering clients a 360° solution for all forms of media and PR including print, digital, social media and eventing. Having individually worked on numerous portfolios over the years, the team knew that together they had the talent and passion to turn brands into a success.
“We like to describe ourselves as wordsmiths, brand influencers and trendsetters,” says director Gerard Peter, adding that the company seeks to share their expertise with clients and form partnerships that will help them to realise their ultimate goals.
Co-director, Brigitte Billings agrees, adding: “Between us we’ve covered a broad spectrum of topics – from Barbie to bodybuilding, hip hop to horses, and travel to trucking. There really isn’t much we can’t write about with authority.” Other areas of expertise include business, lifestyle, health, science & technology, motoring, logistics and architecture, with audiences in both the B2B and consumer spheres.
Collectively the Writers’ Bloc team has grown brands from grassroots stage, tackling projects with passion and professionalism both locally and abroad. This, Peter says, puts the company in a good position to identify the needs and wants of clients so that they may develop a bespoke communications platform that will make an impact on the intended audience.
Newstag adds CNN to video news service
CNN International will be syndicating its news, business, feature and entertainment content to Newstag, an award winning ‘mobile-first’ video news service. The agreement grants Stockholm-based Newstag the right to share and distribute two hours of CNN video content per day on its mobile and online platforms alongside current affairs and entertainment content from other professional content producers around the world, including AP, AFP and Reuters.
With 41 editorial offices and more than 1,100 affiliates worldwide through CNN Newsource, CNN provides local news organisations with products and services across all platforms. CNN Newsource is the industry’s most powerful newsgathering resource.
This announcement follows the news that CCTV – China’s leading news agency – will also be joining Newstag, bringing quality news videos from four continents together through the innovative platform. By presenting these stories from different global perspectives, the platform sheds new light on international news as it breaks.
Newstag Chair and co-founder, Camilla Dahlin-Andersson, says: “Newstag is delighted to be working with CNN, one of the world’s most pioneering and innovative news providers. With the US presidential race in full flow, this partnership couldn’t have come at a better time. We’re committed to providing professionally produced global news coverage from truly distinct perspectives and CNN’s output will contribute to creating a rich and nuanced understanding of the world we live in today.”
New Kantar customised consumer measurement tools licensed to Ask Africa, TGI in SA
South African advertising, marketing and media industries will soon have access to highly optimised consumer measurement tools, thanks to the introduction of new, innovative survey delivery software developed by Kantar Media’s Target Group Index (TGI), licensed locally to the Ask Afrika Group.
TGI, a global products and brands survey, is used by the majority of top 50 advertisers and media owners in South Africa. It currently compliments latest media measurement currencies, namely the Establishment Survey, the Out of Home Survey), Radio Audience Currency Survey (RACS) and the Television Audience Measurement Survey (TAMS). The TGI sample is in the process of being aligned to the new currencies.
Addressing thought-leaders at a conference hosted by Ask Afrika in Johannesburg yesterday, London-based head of TGI International at Kantar Media, Geoff Wicken, said TGI’s latest innovations offer sophisticated marketing solutions in the digital space, and are soon to be introduced in South Africa.
One is the TGI Target Snapshot, a web app designed for advertising, marketing and media agencies to enable their workforce to quickly and simply access and understand key insights into a product or brand’s consumers. Another is TGI Clickstream, metered consumer mobile behaviour, enabling better planning and selling amongst all players in the digital media marketplace by evaluating the most effective online inventory.
“These innovations, combining online and offline data, will provide marketers with key brand insights at their fingertips, and the beauty of TGI is its ability to tie up with existing measurement currencies in South Africa. TGI will integrate seamlessly with these currencies,” said Wicken.
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