The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: The Proud Pronoun Project goes live
VMLY&R has developed the Proud Pronoun Project, which went live on Wednesday. Individuals have the option to select their personal gender pronouns and produce a beautiful illustration to display as Teams or Zoom backgrounds for meetings as a way to inform the people they work with every day how they should be identified.
The site provides options for all cis, transgender and non-binary individuals to select their pronouns ranging from he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs or zi/zir/zirs – or any combination of the 24 options on the site. An individual’s choice goes to the very core of their own identity.
VMLY&R South Africa is taking this a step further. For the month of June, Pride Month, the agency will be running a social media campaign to crowdsource pronouns in South Africa’s official and indigenous languages. These will be added to the Proud Pronoun Project as part of a phase two roll-out later this year.
Dono White, senior strategic lead VMLY&R South Africa (he/him): “South Africa has been hailed as having one of the most progressive and democratic constitutions in the world. In 2005, South Africa legalised same-sex marriage and in 2020 this was amended to protect civil unions by making it illegal to refuse same-sex marriages. While we are progressive when it comes to the sexual orientation, gender as a whole needs visibility and protections. South Africa is facing a gender-based violence crisis.
“In 2021 we are seeing traction with parliament addressing gender-based violence and femicide and deliberating the bills put forward. Abuse against women deserves immediate action. Gender as a whole, though, is just getting started here, and we need to do better, push further and do better to accelerate the respect for all genders, biological or identified. I hope the Proud Pronoun Project can give South Africans a sense of pride in owning their identity without fear, but also highlight the importance of a brave conversation South Africa needs to have yesterday!”
Millennials – who will represent three quarters of the workforce in 2025 – are more likely to identify as LGBTQ (20%) than previous generations Generation X (12%) and Baby Boomers (7%), according to a 2017 Harris Poll conducted for GLAAD. Gen-Z is even more likely to say they know someone who prefers gender-neutral pronouns (35%) than Millennials (25%), according to the Pew Research study. Due to how easy it can be to misinterpret pronouns, that figure is likely a lot higher.
From a business point of view, the risks of not getting your employee experience right will diminish the ability to attract and retain top talent. A 2020 Harvard Business Review article pointed out that often “companies that are LGBTQ+-friendly usually focus more on the ‘LGB’ than on the ‘TQ+’.” Organisations will do themselves a huge disservice by ignoring these shifting gender norms.
Merissa Himraj is the new managing director of Wavemaker South Africa
Wavemaker South Africa has appointed Merissa Himraj as managing director. Himraj first joined Wavemaker in August 2014 as a business unit manager, before taking on the role of chief strategy officer in January 2019.
She started serving on the executive committee of Wavemaker’s parent company, GroupM in April 2020 and has contributed enormously towards the growth of the agency and its people.
As a MD, Himraj is responsible for directing and controlling all business operations and giving strategic guidance and direction to the board to ensure that the company achieves its financial vision, mission, and long-term goals.
“Himraj is a phenomenal leader bringing a wealth of expertise in media and advertising. We are delighted to work with Himraj as we continue to take the agency to greater heights,” said Lwandile Qokweni, CEO of Wavemaker South Africa.
Toni Jeftha promoted to head of digital delivery at Wavemaker South Africa
Toni Jeftha joined Wavemaker South Africa in March 2020 as the digital implementation planner working on the Netflix and Huawei account. Before joining Wavemaker, Jeftha worked at Mindshare for two and half years as a digital strategic planner.
“Jeftha’s contribution thus far has been phenomenal, and we can’t wait to see how she continues to enhance the delivery of our digital offering. Really stoked to have her as part of our digital leadership team,” said Shaun Frazao, head of digital at Wavemaker South Africa.
In her new role as head of digital delivery, Jeftha will be responsible for training and managing the digital planning team, driving efficiencies within the team, and enhancing the digital team’s output.
Eleni Giokos promoted to anchor and correspondent, moving to CNN UAE
CNN’s Eleni Giokos is taking on a new, expanded role at the network and moving to the United Arab Emirates as an anchor and correspondent. Giokos, who will be based in Dubai, will take on additional anchoring responsibilities for CNN, primarily working with Becky Anderson on the network’s flagship Middle East programme, Connect the World, anchored from CNN’s Abu Dhabi bureau. She will also bring her more than 15 years’ international reporting experience, particularly in business, across the region.
Although based in Dubai, she will also continue to anchor her show, Connecting Africa, travelling often into and across the continent from the UAE. In addition, she will be central to CNN Marketplace Middle East, which launches later this year.
“This is such an exciting time to be moving to the UAE,” Giokos said. “There are so many interesting business and cultural stories there, and with Dubai Expo on the horizon it is a really dynamic moment. I’m also incredibly passionate about Africa, and the beauty of this move is that I will be able to travel easily across the continent from my new home.”
Johannesburg remains a key hub for CNN, with the newsgathering team led by international correspondent David McKenzie continuing to be based in the bureau there.
Jan-Hendrik Labuschagne creative director at Superunion
Jan-Hendrik Labuschagne has joined Superunion Africa as creative director. Having built up his career working with large corporates and niche brands within the marketing and branding space, Labuschagne has deep experience in building brands across a wide variety of sectors and media.
Labuschagne is passionate about growing people to create beautiful and meaningful work. He explained, “There is nothing that gets my brain firing like the beginning of a great idea. I take great pride in being able to identify the core of an idea, crafting it to perfection and bringing it to life beautifully.”
Throughout his career, Labuschagne has been recognised locally and internationally at Loeries, One Show, D&AD and Cannes. He was involved with two Loerie Grands Prix and various golds, silvers and bronzes. He has also rebranded various local and international brands, including Telkom, Liberty, Sasol, Steers, KFC, MTN, and Yello Pages. More recently, he helped to create new iconic brands such as Marble, Saint and Anti Est.
New marketing manager for Wild Coast Sun Resort
Sun International has announced the appointment of Cynthia Nene as marketing manager of Wild Coast Sun Resort in the Eastern Cape. Nene took up the role in April 2021.
Nene has solid experience within the Sun International Group, having started her career in 2006 at Central Office, as a graduate management trainee. The following year, she became the MVG co-ordinator at Sibaya Casino, and in 2009, joined Morula Casino and Hotel as the database marketing manager. Three years later, Nene joined Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World as the customer relations manager and acted as the marketing manager from March 2014 to April 2015, when she became the direct marketing and loyalty manager.
Nene attended the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she obtained her honours in Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management and Marketing. She also obtained a National Certificate, Level 3, in Leadership, Communications, Financial operations and Business Operations from QDC. She has also attended several Sun International internal learning and development courses.
ILANGA continues to rise
The recent ABC circulation figures again made for sad reading for newspapers, but the Durban-based ILANGA has once more largely bucked the trend and continues to be the best vehicle for advertisers in KwaZulu-Natal – particularly those aiming to make inroads into the huge isiZulu market.
The twice- weekly, bi-weekly editions of the Zulu-language ILANGA has kept the vast bulk of their circulation, while the weekend edition has actually grown circulation since late 2020.
The recently released First Quarter ABC Circulation report released in May has confirmed the bi- weekly ILANGA editions as the new leader in newspaper circulation in KwaZulu-Natal with an average of 45 489 copies sold per edition.
Unlike virtually every other newspaper in South Africa, ILANGA’s bi-weekly editions only suffered very modest 10-percent losses during the pandemic-hit 2020 and virtually no losses in readers when compared to the fourth-quarter reporting period from last year.
ILANGA managing editor, Philani Mgwaba, is particularly proud of the way his publications have held sales during the past 15 months. “We are trying to hold circulation in possibly the most difficult trading conditions ever for newspapers,” said Mgwaba this week. “Not only are we struggling against normal market influences, but we are also trying to fight for market share in the midst of a pandemic when people have been restricted to their homes.”
ILANGA commercial manager Andrew Taylor believes the publication offers an exciting opportunity for advertisers to reach their target market. “The fact we are an isiZulu-language publication in a predominantly isiZulu-speaking province clearly shows that we are able to offer the best platform for our advertisers,” he said. “The figures show that for the past six months ILANGA has been KZN’s biggest selling newspaper in the fact that we continue to publish the most governmental tenders and vacancies, up to nine pages on some occasions.”
Global Fashion Channel signs exclusive pan-African distribution partnership deal with Media Brokerage Africa
Global Fashion Channel (GFC) has signed an exclusive partnership deal for pan-African affiliate distribution, advertising, and content sales with pan-African broadcast media brokerage agency, Media Brokerage Africa.
Global Fashion Channel is a 24/7 TV channel that focuses on premier fashion, beauty, art, luxury lifestyle, culture, music, and special events from around the world. GFC’s bespoke fashion TV content includes the latest runway shows from New York, Paris, Milan and more.
“Colman Murray, MD of Media Brokerage Africa, has years of experience in Africa’s broadcast arena. The Global Fashion Channel felt his knowledge and expertise was a perfect fit to help expand our channel into Africa,” said Gail Garrison, Owner and Creative Director at Global Fashion Channel. “Media Brokerage Africa will also assist Global Fashion Channel to work with African brands and events, ultimately showcasing African culture and designers as part of the very best of the global industry.”
South Africa’s oldest black-empowered tourism company rebrands to Motsamayi Tourism Group
South Africa’s oldest black-empowered tourism company is rebranding. Thebe Tourism Group, which was once part of the stable of companies under the investment firm, Thebe Investment Corporation, has changed its name to Motsamayi Tourism Group, an independent company with a rich history on the continent and an A-list tourism portfolio with assets in hospitality, attractions, and experiences.
Earlier this year, the executive management team of the company – consisting of CEO Jerry Mabena, COO Brett Hendricks, CFO Cobus du Plessis and CMO Judiet Barnes – announced a buyout from the former owner, made possible through an investment by Futuregrowth. The rebranding follows this newly found independence.
The company was originally founded as part of the stable that was established by Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Beyers Naude and Dr Enos Mabuza, for the sole purpose of fostering real economic transformation in South Africa. The values and focus set by these founding fathers remain as core to the business. The company takes on new brand identity, inspired by Madiba himself, as well as the apt meaning behind the name. The rebranding initiative resonates explicitly with the roots of the organisation.
The new name, as suggested by its inspiration and roots, represents the company’s commitment to transformation, integrity, and excellence.
Innovation and partnership drive secure eSignature solutions for Africa
Both demand and need for eSignature solutions have increased exponentially, on a global scale, over the last two years. Since 2002, when the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA) took effect in South Africa, eSignatures have been recognised as an acceptable means of signing most documents.
Impression Signatures (a provider of secure eSignatures in South Africa) and Striata (a provider of digital customer communications solutions) recognised the need for secure, efficient, and easily manageable eSignature solutions. Realising the power of joining forces within the regional market, these organisations have partnered to ensure easy access to safe, efficient eSignature solutions.
“This new partnership is going to strengthen our ability to provide the most secure and effective eSignature solutions to the public,” explained Warren Blackbeard, sales and channel manager at Impression Signatures.
“Protection against fraud and repudiation goes both ways; customers need the assurance that they are transacting with their service provider, and that any agreement they enter into will be honoured. Just as those service providers need assurance that they are entering into an agreement with their customer, and not someone posing as that customer,” said Brent Haumann, MD, Africa, Striata.
Support Stellenbosch campaign kept Winelands town afloat
Bureau for Economic Research (BER) at Stellenbosch University has compiled a report on the Support Stellenbosch campaign, which ran from 5 September to 16 October 2020 (phase 1) and 23 October and 20 November 2020 (phase two) to help support participating restaurants and establishments hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Presented in partnership with SnapScan, Support Stellenbosch was a rewards-based campaign where locals and visitors received a voucher to the value of 50% of what they spent at an establishment (provided that they spent at least R200). The vouchers, called Stellenbucks, were capped at R400 and were redeemable through SnapScan at any participating restaurant within the campaign period.
In order to evaluate the impact and outcome of the campaign, BER used various Stats SA data to quantify the devastating impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on the restaurant industry as a whole; an online survey to determine the realities faced and experiences of participating restaurant owners (including business activity before, during and after the campaign); and a SnapScan analysis of transactions during the campaign period.
According to the SnapScan analysis, 7,590 qualifying SnapScan transactions resulted in R5 458 150 spent at participating restaurants during the campaign period, while R1 878 491 worth of Stellenbucks vouchers were issued. Not all the vouchers were redeemed and R250 939 was returned into Visit Stellenbosch’s Restaurant Recovery Fund for a future campaign. This amounted to a total direct cash injection of R7 085 702 into the Stellenbosch economy.
+OneX acquires DataCore Media to strengthen data and digital transformation portfolio
+OneX, a new-age solutions and systems integrator that forms part of the Reunert group, has acquired digital media and data consultancy, DataCore Media, to add an online marketing capability to its suite of business transformation solutions and services.
By integrating DataCore Media’s digital media strategy, buying and planning capabilities with its own cloud, data, security, and unified communications competences, +OneX will be able to help enterprises to use company-owned insights in back-office systems, together with digital campaign data, to drive richer customer experiences.
Said Rob Godlonton, CEO of +OneX: “The digital landscape is shifting, with first-party data growing in importance in a world where new regulations and platform changes are reshaping how brands may use third-party data. In this environment, getting a complete view of the customer journey via internal and third-party data is a vital competitive advantage.”
Zapper and Yoyo integration indicative of more collaboration in payment space
Zapper and Yoyo (previously wiGroup) are working together to broaden interoperability in the QR code space, giving their merchants access to more payment options with a single QR code, ensuring customers can pay quickly and safely with their favourite mobile payment option.
Yoyo merchants who choose to sign up with Zapper will be able to offer payments using just one QR code across both payment apps, driving efficiencies and avoiding customer confusion.
“By mapping Zapper to the Yoyo wiCode, merchants only have to present one QR code to their customers. It is then up to the customer to choose which app they open and use to scan and pay. This benefits merchants as it increases the payment options without creating more friction for their customers. It also benefits customers through the power of choice, allowing them to use whichever app they feel best answers their needs,” Brett White, CEO of Zapper explains.
Yoyo creates transactional software products that enable consumers to connect with businesses and brands through the use of loyalty, rewards and m-commerce technologies. The international group resulted from a merger between local company, wiGroup and UK-based Yoyo. It currently works with well-known brands such as Kauai, Vida e caffè, Burger King, KFC, Bootleggers, Famous Brands, Wimpy, and Mugg & Bean.
Rifumo Holdings the HOTTEST of the lot and wins the #GSAW Campaign
The 12-month Get South Africa Working Campaign (#GSAW), a partnership between HOT 91.9 FM and ProfitShare Partners, culminated in the announcement of Rifumo Holdings (Pty) Ltd as the R1-million cash prize winner.
The campaign, initiated by Fintech funding disruptor, ProftShare Partners and getlion, the business management super-app partnered with HOT 91.9 FM with the objective of making a real difference during lockdown and into 2021.
Handing over the prize to Rifumo’s owner, Thompson Mpenyane, Andrew Maren, CEO of ProfitShare Partners said, “ProfitShare Partners helped Rifumo Holdings save 18 jobs they had and – on top of that – hire another 9 new staff members, taking the count up to 27 people, with another 14 new jobs pending. What made this even more noteworthy was that this was achieved during one of the more difficult periods in global business history.”
HOT91.9FM’s Managing Director Lloyd Madurai is justifiably proud of his station’s participation in the 12-month long campaign. “With the R1 million cash prize and in excess of R 100 million in business funding, this is the biggest competition ever run on radio in South Africa,” sayid Madurai. “It embodies who we are. Hot 91.9FM continues to support SME businesses and communities through several initiatives, and we’re extremely pleased at the impact that the #GSAW campaign has had on small businesses.
New start-up to build business reputations
neXt Innovation Solutions, a new start-up business, has embraced the radically changing environment and tailored its offering to develop and implement strategic services which are directed at building and preserving the reputation of businesses.
The idea for the business came about with the realisation that there was a big gap in the market for expertise of this nature, said Gishma Johnson, managing director and communications director of neXt Innovation Solutions. “We found that many businesses did not have in-house resources available dedicated to building their reputations and usually only became concerned about this when they faced a particular crisis issue. This reactive mindset may have been the norm a few years ago but in today’s fast-moving world this approach could be detrimental towards the sustainability and longevity of the brand.
24% of South African adults to shop Prime Day 2021
Twenty-four percent of South African adults, or an estimated 9.5 million people, plan to shop this year’s Amazon Prime Day sales, according to ‘Finder’s Amazon Prime Day Shopping Report’.
The survey of 1 202 South African adults revealed 14% plan to buy an Amazon product or service, with 3% of South Africans set to make a purchase across both Amazon categories; 11% say they’ll buy an Amazon tech product, like a Kindle or Echo, and 6% an Amazon service like Amazon Prime Video.
More men plan to shop than women; 27% of men say they’ll make a purchase, compared to 21% of women – a difference of six percentage points.
OPPO celebrates third successive year of partnership with Roland-Garros
OPPO is celebrating the return of tennis to Roland-Garros, which started on 30 May. This year’s tournament represents OPPO’s third successive year as a premium partner, and OPPO remains the Parisian Grand Slam’s first-ever smartphone partner.
The tournament not only represents the return of the world’s elite tennis players to Paris, but also the return of tennis fans to the famous grounds. To celebrate the presence of spectators around the famous clay courts, OPPO will be launching a new campaign, ‘Play With Heart’.
The new campaign will start at Roland-Garros and OPPO will encourage fans across all social platforms to pay tribute to their favourite sport and to share their passion for tennis with unique shots and content. The campaign will also invite influencers and creators across the globe to broadcast and share their love of tennis.
GZT in ‘large’ new partnership with Giant
Organisers of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek have announced a partnership with the world’s largest bicycle brand, Giant, which they feel will add further value to the boutique mountain bike event.
After the cancellation of last year’s race due to Covid-19, a full field is set to take on the seventh edition that gets underway from the Zuurberg Mountain Village on 27 August.
The three-day event criss-crosses the internationally renowned Addo region, about 70km outside Port Elizabeth, and incorporates some of the Eastern Cape’s most scenic trails in the Zuurberg mountains.
Relaunch issue of House and Leisure now on shelves
The much-anticipated relaunch issue of South African decor and design publication House and Leisure is now on shelves. The first edition by new publisher LOOKBOOK lays the foundation for an approach to ‘slow’ content that celebrates the lean-back pleasure of print.
“Our new direction is one of effortless living – celebrating a sense of place, and touching on the mood and emotions that our homes and surroundings evoke,” said Charl Edwards, House and Leisure’s editor-in-chief. “We’re interested in the feeling a space elicits, especially now in the context of the pandemic. Despite a new direction and look and feel, we are still honouring the legacy of House and Leisure, remaining true to what we believe the reader has come to love over the past three decades.”
Following trends in niche publishing, the quarterly 240-page journal-style magazine takes on the look and feel of a collectible coffee table book. Different types of paper have been used throughout to emphasise the exceptional design and incredible photography on display in the different ‘chapters’, which include a 16- page lookbook shopping insert, and the real-life tactility and craft of print.
The theme for the first volume is ‘Escape’, making reference to a global desire for freedom after a year in various states of confinement, as well as the transportive quality one feels when escaping into the pages of a beautiful magazine.
Trace Academia launches free online vocational training platform in South Africa
Trace, in the presence of the honourable French Minister Elisabeth Moreno (Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities) and South African partners, last week formally announced the inauguration of Trace Academia in South Africa. They also detailed the signing of a protocol of co-operation between Trace, Senghor University in Egypt, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), to create a training programme to develop and support the professionalisation of the creative and cultural sector in Africa.
Trace Academia is a free online vocational training platform built for young South Africans looking to build their skills to find or create jobs. Created in response to the high rate of youth unemployment in South Africa and the continent, Trace Academia will focus on empowerment through educating and training young people.
More than 50% of Africa’s population is under 25 years old. The youth are struggling with the effects of a longstanding economic and psychological crisis. The reach of the global pandemic has further accelerated the need for new approaches to education.
Trace Academia courses are created in collaboration with leading companies, institutions and experts to ensure that the skills provided are well matched to market needs. A localised, interactive and entertaining course format keeps the learner’s attention and significantly improves course completion rate.
Trace Academia will primarily target young South Africans in its inaugural year. The platform will launch with several locally produced training courses including Get Started with Digital Marketing (Grow with Google), How to Become a DJ (Trace), Spark your Interest in Electricity (Schneider Electric), Become a Successful Entrepreneur (Valued Citizens & UJ), Become a Real Handyman (Leroy Merlin) and Own Your Situation (Durex). Trace Academia will take the learner through the journey towards skill acquisition.
More information on www.traceacademia.com
Africa Rising International Film Festival launches showcase series with a screening of Akin Omotoso’s The Ghost and the House of Truth
Africa Rising International Film Festival (ARIFF) launched its ARIFF Showcase at The Bioscope in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday. This is the first in a series of planned showcases, set to take place periodically throughout the year in the lead-up to the main festival event, annually.
The themed showcases primarily aim to provide a platform for African filmmakers who often struggle to access exhibition platforms at home and abroad. Moreover, ARIFF has a desire to use African storytelling as a vehicle for advancing urgent social conversations.
“There are many compelling stories and masterpieces in the African film industry that are hardly ever exhibited. At ARIFF we feel it is important to rally around these films and provide the creative talent behind them a platform to connect with the audiences they are intended for,” said festival director, Ayanda Sithebe.
“The subject matter in African films is pertinent not only to the continent’s ’s film industry but to the global film industry as well,” he continues adding that the plan is for these showcases to travel around the continent and beyond.”
The fourth edition of the main ARIFF festival will run from 25-29 of November 2021 and will continue the tone set by the showcases with screenings that amplify African voices.
Safrea to host webinar of freelance stress
Youth Digital Skills Forum coming up
The Youth Digital Skills Forum will bring together youth and industry leaders in a series of discussions that will look at how digital skills can be a tool for growth. It will also look at the ways in which digital tools can contribute to economic recovery in the time of COVID-19.
Some of the industry panelists include Facebook’s Head of Policy, Nomonde Gongxeka Seope, and Head of IAB Education Council and MD of Hello Computer Joey Kuvhutlu.
The IAB Council will share its insights. IAB will also be presenting the findings of the IAB Digital Skills Gap Survey that they conducted earlier this year. The event is set to take place on the 11th of June 2021 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and it will be streamed live on the Digify Africa Facebook page.
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