The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: Conversation LAB appoints Uyanda Manana as MD in new grassroots ownership deal
Digital agency Conversation LAB has sold majority shares to several of its rising stars in a deal to drive change, build relevance and champion diversity.
Advertising and marketing professional, Uyanda Manana, takes the helm at Conversation LAB with immediate effect, joining four other black staffers as majority shareholders. Further black women shareholding is on offer, with Johannesburg-based Manana already on the lookout for top talent. Manana leaves her position as managing director of sister agency, BE, an agency she helped build 18 months ago. BE now merges with Conversation LAB.
“This is an exciting and tremendous opportunity for me as a black woman. I get to lead an incredibly talented team of people across Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg in shaping our industry into something more reflective of our multicultural society,” said Manana.
“Diversity and cultural transformation is not only about access to opportunity; it’s about acceptance too. It fosters an environment that gives people the security and room to express and accept their uniqueness. It opens up paths to creativity, making our work and processes that much richer and more human.”
One of Manana’s priorities is to strengthen the agency’s Johannesburg offering, with plans to open doors in Soweto. “Being in a township gives young black people real access and exposure to an industry that has been out of reach for too long, and gives us access to the kind of raw talent we’re looking for,” said Manana. “Importantly, it positions us in the heart of the communities we represent and talk to.”
Conversation LAB founder Kevin Power, based in UK, has commuted between South Africa and the United Kingdom since 2017 after setting up an office there, remains managing director of Conversation LAB Holdings, focused on new business opportunities for the group overseas. Co-founder Jon Oliff continues as chief technical officer at Conversation LAB.
Said Power: “As an agency group we want to be relevant and proud of our business structure and make up, and be a positive force for change in our industry. It’s important too for staff morale, inspiration and fulfilment. And it’s vital if we want to deliver work that is relevant, honest and carries weight.”
He said the move was more about grassroots transformation than a “typical black empowerment deal” that often didn’t change people’s lives in a meaningful or timeous way. Manana’s experience, empathy, ability to problem solve, build strong senior relationships and “take people with her” was critical to the deal, Power said.
“We are not just changing the ownership of the business; that’s the easy part and only goes some way in creating real transformation. Critically we are changing our leadership, a far bolder move, and a step change in our intentions and ambitions for the eight-year-old agency,” he said.
Suhana Gordhan joins the DUKE Group as executive creative director
Award-winning advertising industry heavy-weight Suhana Gordhan will be joining the DUKE Group as executive creative director.
Having worked at agencies such as Ogilvy, the King James Group, Black River FC, VML, Net#work, BBDO and FCB, Gordhan has shared her creativity with brands such as Nando’s, Coca-Cola and USAID. Last year, Gordhan’s work for Coca-Cola featured in Contagious Magazine as one of three campaigns in The World’s Best Strategies.
Wayne Naidoo, DUKE Group CEO, said: “Suhana brings with her deep industry insights that will inform our creative campaigns, as well as a fresh perspective. Her love for nurturing talent mirrors the values that the DUKE Group holds, and we are excited to be welcoming her to new and exciting opportunities in Cape Town.”
Gordhan will take over from Mike Beukes, who is relocating to London. Beukes has been with DUKE for nearly four years and during his tenure has seen the agency ranked within the top two most awarded small agency at Loeries. The agency also placed as runner-up in the Medium-sized Agency category at Adfocus ’19 and was voted as runner-up for “One to watch in SA” for 2020.
“I have a lot to gain from joining the DUKE Group, and I hope to learn and grow in a different direction to what I’m familiar with. I look forward to sharing my passion for ideas that really live in people’s lives, my specific and utter joy for copywriting and my ability to nurture young talent,” Gordhan said.
Relativ Media announces new managing director
Out of home media specialists, Relativ Media, have appointed Michael Christoforos in the role of managing director (MD). Christoforos brings more than eight years’ experience in the out of home media sector, with a proven track record as a key member of the Relativ Media team. He was previously head of business development, having joined Relativ Media in 2016. Christoforos is replacing outgoing MD Richard Wilkinson, who is immigrating to New Zealand.
Sijadu Mzozoyana, CEO of Relativ Media, said, “Michael is a well-versed, experienced and well-regarded leader within the Relativ media stable. He has an already established record of constant delivery in our business. His significant business development experience, people skills and customer-centric executions make him a natural successor to our outgoing MD. His network of strategic business relationships is also an asset to us. His work speaks for itself and as a result, he is the natural successor to Richard.”
Speaking on his new role, Christoforos said, “This appointment is a real privilege for me, one that I am thrilled to assume. It will allow me to contribute more positively toward moving Relativ Media forward with greater impact. Relativ Media will never become complacent in our space, we will never settle for what we have. Instead, we will strive to always be a market leader, ever learning, pushing the boundaries, and always moving forward; a drive I look forward to leading.”
As MD, Michael will continue to bring value both to their clients and the business by maintaining Relativ Media’s ‘personal touch’ in the way in which they conduct their business, and in their strong relationship with all suppliers, partners and clients. He aims to continue to steer the business in a manner that lives up to the solid reputation they have built, by “doing good business, building sound relationships, making a difference in the lives of those around us and having a good time while doing so.”
Cindy Mahlangu and Sandile Mahlangu join Scandal
Two Mpumalanga natives, actress Cindy Mahlangu and film enthusiast Sandile Mahlangu, have joined Scandal.
The next few weeks will see several new faces slowly entrench their characters into the evolving world of e.tv‘s daily soapie, and it is no coincidence that two of the latest entrants share a real-life surname.
“Scandal! viewers are in for a treat in the next couple of months,” says Helga Palmer, e.tv head of local productions.
“We have a fresh, fun, and vibrant talent pool that is joining the eFamily. Between now and the end of September, there will be various new faces that will effortlessly snuggle their way into fans’ hearts and simultaneously drive e.tv’s talent value proposition. This week, we welcome Cindy and Sandile, and we are confident that viewers will embrace their on-screen presence,” Palmer added.
SABC sends its heartfelt condolences to the Mbambo family
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has learnt with sadness of the passing of acting icon, Arthur Mbambo.
“Mbambo graced our television screens from as far back as the ’70s with a myriad of memorable roles which he always turned into his own. His most acclaimed role was playing Mnyamane Buthelezi, Thandaza’s father on the popular SABC 2 soapie Muvhango.
Mr Mbambo has been part of the SABC family for decades, starring in popular dramas like Hlala Kwabafileyo, Ifa La Kwa Mthethwa, Emzini Wezinsizwa, S’gudis Nice, Generations and Kwakhala Nyonini. Mr Mbambo has left a big void in the entertainment industry. He will be remembered for his immense contribution to the industry and will be sorely missed on our screens,” it said in a statement.
The SABC extends its heartfelt condolences to the Mbambo family during this difficult time.
Flow Communications embraces innovation and change by moving to a permanent remote working arrangement
Flow Communications has joined the likes of GitHub, Twitter, Google and Facebook – announcing that staff may choose where they want to work from, with immediate effect.
The company, which has been in business for 15 years and has a staff complement of about 60 people, will no longer expect its employees to be physically present at an office. Instead, Flow staff will work from wherever it makes most sense.
“Flow has always been innovative and flexible,” said Tara Turkington, CEO of Flow Communications. “Now, our flexibility is at another level. We’re excited to chart this path, along with our amazing team. The forced work-from-home arrangement during Covid-19 made us realise that teams who choose when and where they work create more innovative work and offer even better and more responsive client service.”
For Flow Communications, remote working does not equate to working from home – it’s a choice, not a necessity, and enables teams to embrace opportunities that include being able to work from anywhere in the world, reduced travel costs and eliminating the frustration that comes from commuting to and from work, less micromanagement and being responsible for our own working times, productivity and office space among others.
“It’s our experience that this new way of working is not at all remote, but rather closer, more accessible, more flexible and more agile – retaining our unique Flow culture while offering more,” said Tiffany Turkington-Palmer, Flow’s managing director.
Good Things Guy offers free news, no walls. Forever.
South Africa’s Good Things Guy, Brent Lindeque, has announced that readers of GoodThingsGuy.com will always enjoy its content free of charge, in perpetuity.
“That includes breaking news and ‘premium’ content like our podcasts, in-depth articles and investigative opinions,” said Lindeque. “We wholeheartedly believe that good news should always, and will always, remain free for consumption.”
The good news site also vowed to never allow any intrusive and completely irrelevant pop up advertising. “We are intimately conscious of what our readers want and engage with them directly, in a personal way, on a daily basis,” Lindeque said. “South Africans want good news, they want connection and they want it readily available – we offer our continued commitment to do just that – without a paywall.”
The Good Things Guy can be found at www.goodthingsguy.com, on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Good Things Guy launches Good Things Live
South Africa’s Good Things Guy, Brent Lindeque, has expanded his online platform to include Good Things Live, a live streamed show hosted on the Skyroomlive.com platform that has already amassed over 76 000 views over just five episodes.
Featuring guests the likes of The Kiffness, Riaan Manser and Mike Sharman, Good Things Live profiles South Africans in the business, entertainment and leisure industries providing both entertainment and inspiration to all South Africans during lockdown and into the future.
With each episode around half an hour, Good Things Live began in June this year when Adriaan Gerber of Mushroom Productions approached Lindeque with the idea. He said: “I met Brent a few years ago. While producing Goliaths Go Live I approached Brent to be on as a guest with the Goliaths. When that episode hit 7000 views, I knew we had to ask him back for a second episode. When his second appearance also hit great numbers, I approached him about launching a Good Things Live programme, an idea that he was coincidentally playing with at the same time.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available for brands interested in collaborating the Good Things Live show and can be tailored per budget.
Tribeca Public Relations retains Level 1 B-BBEE rating
Tribeca Public Relations (Tribeca) has achieved a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Level 1 status for the third consecutive year, as verified in its 2020 B-BBEE audit by JS BEE Solutions, a SANAS accredited B-BBEE verification agency.
The B-BBEE verification process was based on the Marketing, Advertising and Communication (MAC) Sector Code.
The Level 1 status affords Tribeca a B-BBEE procurement recognition level of 135%, making it an appealing option for organisations whose own B-BBEE strategies focus on achieving high procurement recognition levels as outlined in the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Act of 2013.
Tribeca’s commitment to empowerment includes a partnership with the Itirele Foundation Charitable Trust (Itirele), an independent trust which focuses on nurturing a culture of black female entrepreneurship in South Africa.
Itirele owns 18% of the issued shares of Tribeca Public Relations (Pty) Ltd unencumbered and uses its dividend income from this shareholding to support the growth of small and medium enterprises, develop entrepreneurial role models, and stimulate and reward entrepreneurial innovation.
News24 announces a new digital subscription service at R75 per month
News24, South Africa’s largest and most trusted news platform, is launching a new digital subscription service that will be available to readers from Saturday.
Breaking news will remain free-to-read.
A subscription will cost R75 per month and will give readers access to additional investigative and in-depth journalism, as well as a range of informed opinions, analysis and views on news, politics, sport, business and lifestyle. A subscription will further include access to the best of Media24’s journalism from City Press, You, Drum and True Love magazines’ digital editions.
“This is a historic moment for all of us at News24; something we’ve been dying to tell our more than 13-million unique users about since we started this journey to build a sustainable model for quality journalism almost two years ago,” said News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson.
FNB’s new brand campaign inspires South Africans to Help and have Hope
FNB has launched its new brand campaign calling on all South Africans to rally behind local businesses to help rebuild the economy.
FNB chief marketing officer, Faye Mfikwe said, “Our brand campaign aims to encourage South Africans to stand behind our small businesses as they are the lifeline of every community and the backbone of our economy. They drive growth and create job opportunities. By supporting and buying proudly local, we are helping to rebuild and revive our economy”.
Centred around the message “When we all help, we have hope”, the brand campaign depicts the story of a paramedic who visits a local coffee shop to buy coffee for his colleagues ahead of their shift. While he is driving, he appreciates seeing how the lockdown restrictions have eased and local businesses opening, giving hope to reviving the economy.
Press Room appointed by PANDORA Jewellery
“We are absolutely thrilled to be working with such an aspirational and prestigious brand like PANDORA,” saidLorraine Maisel, MD of Styling Concepts and Press Room PR agencies.
PANDORA are best known for their charms and wide range of jewellery including hand-finished bracelets, necklaces, rings, and pendants for all occasions.
Press Room and Styling Concepts have over 14 years of experience specialising in fashion and lifestyle PR.
GivenGain debuts live-stream fundraising
Charities in the know use live-stream fundraising to get tons of donations for good causes. Others are missing out. Now GivenGain wants to bridge the gap between them.
This month, the global leader in crowdfunding for charity wants gamers, musicians and anyone with a livestream to do it for good.
Why? Because livestreaming for charity is big – really big. Streaming platform Twitch estimates that between 2012 and 2017, more than $75m was raised for various charities on its service.
Marius Maré, GivenGain President, said the fundraising platform – itself a non-profit – has long used innovative technologies to break down the barriers between haves and have-nots.
To add fundraising to your live stream, you must be logged in on GivenGain as a fundraiser and have at least one active fundraising project. Then simply click through to your Settings page here, choose an active project from the Livestreaming tab, and copy the links to our Donation Alert and Progress Bar widgets into your live streaming platform. For detailed instructions, visit GivenGain.
DStv bolsters its movie offering
Call it Movies 2.0! or: The streamlined upgrade of the M-Net Movies channels on DStv, come Tuesday 1 September the current six M-Net Movie channels will be reorganised and consolidated into four slick, fuss-free channels.
To keep it simple, these four carefully curated channels, with their array of must-see films, will be known as M-Net Movies 1, M-Net Movies 2, M-Net Movies 3 and M-Net Movies 4.
Even though DStv have streamlined the M-Net channels, this will not impact the number of movies on the DStv packages, audiences will benefit from a leaner, spruced-up M-Net slate.
The popular holiday pop-up channel FliekNET will become a permanent fixture on the platform from 1 September as well.
Added to this, the new KIX channel launching in October this year, will bring viewers the best of Martial Arts from the old-time favourites such as Jet Li, Jackie Chan and more. Film fanatics can also rest assured that DStv and M-Net team will continue to create popular pop-up channels built around popular franchises or themes.
“It’s important for us to facilitate the best possible viewing experience for our DStv customers in our ever-evolving world of entertainment,” said MultiChoice SA CEO, Mark Rayner. “While the proposition of the current six movie channels – M-Net Movies Premiere, Action Plus, Action, Smile, Zone and All Stars – made perfect sense when they launched years ago, recent comments and requests from our movie-loving DStv audiences indicated that it was time for a reboot.”
According to Yolisa Phahle, CEO of General Entertainment and Connected Video at MultiChoice Group, this is just the beginning – the first step onto an exciting planned journey of developments on the film front.
The South African Book Fair announces 2020 virtual event this September
The South African Book Development Council (SABDC) has announced that the 2020 edition of the South African Book Fair (SABF) will be going ahead as a virtual event taking place from 11-13 September 2020 at the culmination of South Africa’s National Book Week.
The SABDC and the FP&M Seta are committed to promoting the power and joy of books and reading as well as to showcase, support, connect and provide a trading platform for the industry to ensure that books and reading stay within people’s consciousness.
In reimagining this year’s South African Book Fair, the emphasis is on providing a highly relevant, immersive and engaging virtual experience for readers, book lovers, authors, illustrators, poets and members of the book and publishing industry via a newly developed SA Book Fair online platform.
This year’s virtual South African Book Fair, while a simplified version of the annual physical Fair, will offer a full and exciting programme of stimulating discussions, entertainment and fun to ensure that there is something for everyone.
The City of Cape Town and HelloFCB+ launch My COVID-19 Diaries to end stigmatisation of those infected
The City of Cape Town has launched a campaign devised by human connections agency, HelloFCB+, to build empathy for those who have contracted COVID-19 and encourage the communities in which they live and work to stop stigmatising them.
The campaign, My COVID-19 Dairy, showcases Vuyokazi Nqayi, a 35-year-old mother of two from Langa, Cape Town. Every day, she films a short video in which she shares her feelings, symptoms, fears and how she appreciates the support and kindness she is receiving from the online community. Heart FM has also joined the campaign, doing daily interviews with Vuyokazi.
Director of communications for the City of Cape Town, Priya Reddy, said the project was both challenging and unpredictable.
“We had many a conversation with Vuyokazi to ensure she was up to it. She, like us, wants to build awareness and education around the virus and the effects of stigmatisation, reminding our residents that the COVID-19 statistics are actually human beings who deserve compassion and kindness,” Reddy said.
The key insight informing the campaign is that, as COVID-19 cases increase at a rapid rate, it’s easy to forget that behind the numbers, statistics, and graphs, are family members, friends, colleagues and loved ones – all of whom need care and support over this time.
Re-invent, revive and thrive this women’s month with brand performance expert, Jenny Handley
JHP, a Cape Town-based brand and performance training company, is celebrating the potential of women by offering a unique personal branding package this Women’s Month. Women who are resilient, robust and can adapt to change are those who will be more successful in an uncertain future.
Handley said, “It’s time to re-create, re-imagine and elevate your chances of success. You need to know where your skills will be relevant, and how to leverage your strengths. It’s not always the most qualified person who gets the job, but the one who is brave enough to market themselves appropriately.”
With a two-hour, digital consultation, Handley will meet you in the comfort of your home and offer one-on-one expert guidance to a ‘brand’ new you. The consultation includes an analysis of personal assets and liabilities, identifying potential, goal setting and how to market yourself to get you there.
Consultations will include a copy of Raise your Profile and the writing of a personal profile for each candidate. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Diary
Web Rangers SA 2020: Enrol your children now at no cost!
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If you work with children or know a young person who is passionate about using the internet for good, and would like to join hundreds of Web Rangers across the world who have learnt to use the internet and social media to make their country a better place.
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