The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: Duma Collective buys into M&N Brands companies
A share exchange deal signed this week will see Duma Collective founder and managing director Sibu Mabena (30) own a stake in Avatar JHB, Avatar Cape Town, Avatar PR, and AMA, a newly formed venture with Park Advertising. M&N Brands has acquired a minority stake in Duma Collective, keeping Duma Collective a 100% black-owned and majority women-owned entity. The deal will result in the entire M&N network employing over 180 people.
Mabena will remain the managing director of Duma Collective and becomes a partner at M&N Brands. While Duma Collective, Avatar and the associated agencies remain operationally independent, the share exchange deal is an opportunity to collaborate on a more meaningful scale.
“Avatar’s track record and its established clientele both on a local and global scale, through this collaboration, add to the gravitas of the industry-leading agency that is Duma Collective. As Duma Collective, we add strong event production, activations, social media, strategy, and influencer management capabilities into the mix,” says Mabena.
“We are also the brand custodians of some of Africa’s biggest stars including Somizi Mhlongo, Jessica Nkosi, Mihlali Ndamase, Kwesta, Bonko Khoza, Motshidisi Mohono and DJ Ph,” she added.
M&N Brands’ executive chairperson, Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, has also been a business mentor to Mabena for the past year; this collaboration is a natural progression of the relationship that has existed over the years.
“This deal is in line with M&N Brands’ strategy to create a group of best-of-breed agencies run by entrepreneurs that collaborate to provide our clients with the benefit of specialist agencies without the headache of having to manage them. We start this joint new chapter in the year of the 10th anniversary of Avatar, which is fitting. I will be working very closely with Sibu Mabena as she is the future of M&N and Avatar,” said Mkhwanazi.
Bridget Langley joins Grey to handle RMB business
Grey Advertising Africa recently announced that it will serve as the new creative agency for Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), the corporate and investment arm of FirstRand., working alongside RMB’s existing digital, brand and media partner agencies.
To head up and oversee this important new relationship for the agency, Grey has appointed Bridget Langley as business unit director.
As a highly motivated and results driven manager in the communications industry, Langley has a proven track record of understanding and delivering to her client’s needs.
“Bridget is a highly skilled marketing communications professional having spent more than 25 years running the Standard Bank account at TBWA Hunt Lascaris. We are thrilled to have someone of Bridget’s immense experience in financial services brand communications to oversee the RMB business. Most importantly, Bridget fits right in to the Grey culture,” commented Paul Jackson, CEO Grey Advertising Africa.
The client team that Langley will work with varies from junior marketing to senior executives at Rand Merchant Bank, both in South Africa as well as on the African continent.
“I grow and mentor whomever I can. I was lucky enough to be taught by some great people and I’d like to share that with others. It’s in everything we do – better briefs, better briefings, better discussion, better work, better relationships, more integrated, more immersed….” Langley said.
Craig Naicker appointed co-CEO of Happy Friday
Through the line communications agency, Happy Friday (formerly CWDi), made headlines last year for its reinvention of the traditional advertising agency model. Now, this disruptive, people-centric creative agency is reimagining its leadership structure.
As of February 2022, Happy Friday has appointed a co-CEO, former group MD, Craig Naicker. Naicker will be sharing the reins with Group CEO, Janine Kruger. And while the co-CEO structure is considered unconventional by many, Happy Friday’s leadership team feels that it is a sound and refreshing approach.
Naicker said, “As much as we can all be chameleons in what we do, it is also extremely important to play to our strengths; especially in our new, ever-changing landscape. Business has evolved and transformed. We need to be working in more collaborative environments, not silos. And that applies at every level of the organisation, including top management.”
As Co-CEOs, Naicker and Kruger will be playing to their strengths by focusing on their individual areas of expertise. Naicker’s focus will be primarily external while Kruger will be more internally focused.
Happy Friday’s “Two heads are better than one” philosophy is the latest amendment to its “people first” agency model.
dentsu South Africa welcomes back Donald Mokgale
Mokgale’s inspiring dentsu career began 12 years ago when he joined Posterscope SA (dentsu SA’s former leading out of home and location marketing agency) as a junior planner. Five years later, he was promoted to account director and in 2016, Mokgale became the development director for Posterscope Sub-Saharan Africa (currently dentsu Location Services) where he launched the specialised out of home office in Ghana.
Read more here.
Mediology South Africa names Michael Pearce and Carl Ungerer as joint managing partners
Mediology South Africa has appointed Michael Pearce and Carl Ungerer as joint managing partners.
Both Pearce and Ungerer joined Mediology after graduating from university and have grown and flourished in their respective roles. They have been with Mediology for over ten years, having proven themselves time and again, garnering the respect of their colleagues and clients alike.
Read more here.
Virgin Active appoints Dean Kowarski CEO
Virgin Active has appointed Dean Kowarski, founder of The Real Foods Group, as group CEO of Virgin Active with immediate effect.
Kowarski started the Real Foods Group in 2013 and acquired the Kauai business in 2015 and has subsequently grown the business from 100 stores to 204 stores. He has been active in, and has an in-depth understanding and passion for, the health and wellness space for many years. He also has had a close association with the Virgin Active business.
The company also announced an internal promotion with Mark Field, currently managing director of Virgin Active South Africa, becoming Group CFO. He will take up this position once a new MD for Virgin Active South Africa has been appointed.
The existing shareholders of Virgin Active, Brait and Virgin Group, will be investing an additional £20.2 million in the business. In addition, certain of the members of the investor consortium in Real Foods will invest GBP18.2 million and Titan Premier Investments (Pty) Limited (“Titan”), an investment vehicle of Christo Wiese, will invest GBP50.0 million to become new shareholders in Virgin Active.
Alpa Dedhia joins IdeateLabs as the chief business officer
IdeateLabs has appointed Alpa Dedhia as chief business officer. She moves from VMLY&R India, where she held the position of EVP – customer experience and new business. Dedhia will be working out of IdeateLabs’ Mumbai office.
She is a motivated business leader with more than 16 years of progressive experience in building brands, and building practices around content at Scale, digital business revenue optimisation, video, social commerce, and products and technology transformation.
Emakina opens SA office offering exciting opportunities for digital, marketing and media experts
Emakina, a leading European digital agency, has taken its first step onto the African continent. With operations in 18 countries, the group opens its 26th office in Cape Town as part of its global growth strategy. The launch of the full-service user-centric digital agency’s creative hub in South Africa brings compelling opportunities for ICT, marketing and digital professionals who can access international career-boosting and collaboration on a global level.
Recognising the immense and diverse pool of African talent, Emakina seeks to connect emerging and seasoned professionals with remote opportunities to work on brands like Under Armour, NIKE, Maserati, KitchenAid and Red Bull.
Headquartered in Brussels, Emakina has substantial agencies in Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Stockholm and Dubai, and specialised digital consultancies across Europe, in the US, the UK and Asia.
“By expanding into South Africa, we bring much-needed stimulation of opportunity to the country’s creative professional workforce,” said Karim Boutaour, acquisition & integration director MEA at Emakina Group. “Emakina offers sustainable employment, international exposure, and a unique framework in which to build a solid creative career.”
Darren McKay leads the South African team as creative director and Executive Manager. He founded The Greenhouse Advertising Agency and was creative director to Jupiter Drawing Room, gaining international experience working for companies like MC Saatchi, McCanns and TBWA in London.
SABC Sport and 4Racing sign horseracing broadcast deal
SABC Sport has announced the signing of a multi-year deal with 4Racing to ensure horseracing is accessible and available to the broader South African public on free-to-air television.
The agreement will see 4Racing produce and broadcast a daily 30-minute horse racing talk show called ‘Racing Today’ on SABC Sport from Monday to Friday over a three-year period for 50 weeks a year. Additionally, 10 of the country’s top showpiece horse racing events will be broadcast live in prime time on S3.
The new daily talk show Racing Today on SABC Sport will cover all things horse racing, while live coverage of the best local and international races will deliver the exhilaration, drama and prestige that is synonymous with racing to SABC’s viewers.
Gary Rathbone, head of SABC Sport, said “Horse racing has long been a major part of the SABC Sport’s offering and after a long absence from our platforms, it’s great to have the sport of kings back on air. Being able to feature South Africa’s best thoroughbreds and champion jockeys fighting it out in these iconic races on the annual calendar is something that will excite millions of South Africans who will now be able to access the best racing on offer live and free on the SABC.”
Racing Today will air from 4 April 2022 at 5pm, Monday to Friday on the 24-hour SABC Sports Channel on the SABC’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) service, on the Openview HD Channel 124 and on the TelkomONE streaming service.
TelkomONE grows content catalogue to suit all streaming tastes
TelkomONE viewers now have a choice of 44 TV channels – up from 36 – after the streaming service added linear channels and on-demand video content from SPI International, a leading global content distributor and broadcaster.
This latest news comes hot on the heels of TelkomONE’s December 2021 addition of top-end video and channel content from the WarnerMedia stable. This includes Boing Africa, the fun-filled video playground for children under 14 years; TNT Africa, the continent’s number one dedicated Hollywood movie channel and Toonami Africa, the home of superhero action for discerning young adults. These are now all available for streaming either on demand or as a TV channel.
Earlier in 2021, TelkomONE’s impressive array of new content offerings was already boosted by such awesome new channels as W-Sport, the dedicated women’s sport entertainment channel, Kaloopy, the California lifestyle and music Channel, and others.
Now, TelkomONE’s latest content agreement provides its streaming viewers with tons of features, movies, documentaries, fashion and lifestyle shows, gaming content, action and fight sports, music and more, across several channels and through a large catalogue of video, available on demand.
M&C Saatchi Abel wins suite of Pepsico Brands as account lead
M&C Saatchi Abel, has been appointed as lead agency across a portfolio of PepsiCo brands – including, Lay’s, Liqui Fruit, and Weet-Bix.
The team behind the pitch looks forward to providing hot creative solutions that further entrench loyalty for the iconic household and international brands that many South Africans have grown up knowing and loving.
“Winning this mix of iconic brands comes with a legacy and heritage we need to uphold as we begin our journey with the PepsiCo family, but at the same time, it also comes with the challenge of ensuring they remain future-fit and continue to grow,” said Jacques Burger, founding partner: group executive at the M&C Saatchi Group South Africa.
M&C Saatchi Abel is no stranger to the retail and FMCG sector and welcomes the opportunity to deliver brutally simple solutions ,underpinned by a sense of accountability, within the advertising discipline. “At the end of the day you will know if the work is delivering on the client’s needs by the sound the till makes when customers pick your brand over another,” says Burger. “The till either rings or it doesn’t, and we’re confident the work our team produces will result in increased ringing for years to come.”
Zoho takes on current low-code market gaps with new creator platform
Zoho Corporation, a global technology company, announced the latest version of its low-code offering, Zoho Creator. The new version addresses the need for an easy-to-use platform that enables business users (or citizen developers) to create complex and powerful business applications, while empowering the IT teams to place sufficient guardrails and govern usage, ensuring security and compliance.
Organisations currently face soaring demand for new business software, but existing low-code platforms are either for business users and lack the sophistication needed to develop scalable, enterprise-ready end-to-end tools or are for users with intricate understanding of the application development process.
“The bulk of low-code application development, from customisation to automation, can be handled today by users with moderate technical knowledge. Where we see a gap, especially for the mid-market and enterprise, is between building and deployment,” saidAndrew Bourne, Regional Manager, Africa, Zoho Corp.
The new version of Zoho Creator platform empowers business developers to easily build scalable low-code solutions, which include apps, integrations, analytics, and process automation without costly and time-consuming training demanded by complex platforms.
Regenesys Business School launches MBA for the creative industry with Tbo Touch as one of its first students
Regenesys Business School has announced the launch of its Master of Business Administration (MBA) specifically tailored for the creative industry. The first 20 cohort is set to begin classes in July 2022. The MBA is aimed at strengthening the creative industries’ management and leadership capabilities and creating better opportunities for all in this sector, which includes marketing, adverting, PR and communications, music, film and visual arts, to name but a few.
“The creative industry is critical to the growth of our economy as we seek to build and manage new forms of value and competitiveness. This MBA is a fantastic opportunity to grow skills and knowledge for people in the creative industry. Our students are going to be able to apply systematic rational analysis and other interdisciplinary processes designed for effective management, contextualising them for their organisations or businesses so that they are able to deal with real-life issues and leadership management challenges,” said Dr Marko Saravanja, chairperson of the Regenesys Group.
Well-known South African entrepreneur and media personality, Tbo Touch, will be one of the first students of the MBA. “I am excited to be going on this educational journey with Regenesys Business School. Consumer needs are forever changing, and as a businessperson, I need to be updated with the latest industry developments and also be able to think strategically and long-term. Regenesys Business School also provides unique education that not only focuses on enhancing students’ intellectual intelligence (IQ), but also unites it with emotional, spiritual, and physical intelligence (EQ, SQ, and PQ), something no other institution offers and for me, that is what sealed the deal,” he said.
SABC News makes key changes in programming; Iman Rappaetti
The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s News and Current Affairs division, as part of strengthening its position as a credible news and information provider, will from 1 April 2022 launch a news programme, It’s Topical,on SABC News Channel 404presented Blain Herman on Sundays.
It’s Topical, an interactive programme focusing on various relevant topics that have made headlines during the week, will make its first debut on Sunday, 3 April 2022 between 20h00-21h00. This programme will also simulcast on the last Sunday of each month on the FTA channel, SABC 2 from 20h30 to 21h00.
The SABC has also announced the addition of a valuable team member in the News division, Iman Rappetti, from 1 April 2022. She is an award winning and seasoned broadcaster. She brings to the SABC a wealth of great knowledge and experience spanning over 20 years, and this will be shared and enjoyed with the Full View audiences on weekends on SABC News Channel 404.
The South African National Editors’ Forum offers training on Covid-19 reporting
The Covid-19 pandemic has meant new challenges for journalists, who play a crucial role in informing people during the pandemic, with journalists working for community media being the most disadvantaged in terms of knowledge and supplies such as data.
Journalists face growing challenges in fulfilling their role as they report in an emergency of this nature. Hugely prevalent has been the dis- and mis- information scourge, which has run rampant, leaving the media to deal with copious amounts of dubious information. Media practitioners have also had to find new sources and new ways of accessing these sources as they report about Covid-19, and challenges brought by the pandemic.
“Community plays a pivotal role in informing our communities. Journalists in this sector, and other sectors such as mainstream, have in the past two years played a masterful role to inform their audiences. This training will come in handy as we empower our journalists to be upskilled, as they report on this pandemic, and other challenges in the near future,” said Reggy Moalusi, executive director of SANEF.
The training has been funded and supported by the Open Society Foundation-SA, who also funded the initial Reporting the Pandemic Guide.
“With this training, journalists will be able to protect themselves and their sources, while educating their audiences,” said Dr Sandra Roberts, Academic Head of fraycollege.
fraycollege has been contracted to develop and provide this training.
We encourage community journalists to apply to join. Those who do join will get data to attend the online workshops.
Deadline for applications is 21 March 2022. Sign up here.
Southern Africa creative and cultural organisations invited to apply for Sound Connects Fund second call for grant applications
The Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF), in partnership with Goethe-Institut, invites organisations operating in Southern Africa’s creative and cultural industries to apply for grants from the Sound Connects Fund (SCF). The second call for grant applications is now open and will close on the 15 April 2022.
Made possible with funding from the ACP-EU Culture Programme, the fund is aimed at accelerating development in Southern Africa while increasing the capacities of practitioners in the region.
Similar to the first call in 2021, applicants will be expected to speak to the theme of Sound Connects Us. Music and sound exist as the universal language that has connected people and communities globally for centuries. It is clear that in Southern Africa’s vibrant cultural sector, sound is a significant force that connects and coexists within a wide range of art forms – in some instances playing a central role in fields such as dance, theatre, video, gaming, film, fashion and related industries.
Interested organisations are urged to visit the Sound Connects Fund website for more information about the fund and the application process. You can also watch an in-depth video discussion about the Sound Connects Fund on MIAF’s Facebook Page and the How to Apply video on MIAF’s YouTube channel.
If you have any queries about the Sound Connects Fund, read through the FAQs, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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