The legendary ad man, speaker, writer and strategist, Andy Rice, has died after being ill for quite some time.
Rice, according to his website, put strategy at the heart of everything he has pursued in his career. An AdFocus winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, he began in FMCG marketing, before moving to advertising, and heading strategy at Ogilvy Johannesburg before co-founding Yellowwood, a leading strategy consultancy that is now part of the TBWA/Omnicom group.
Rice was active on the awards judging scene, “judging awards schemes such as Loeries, Apex and Cannes Lions. For many years, he was co-host of Talk Radio 702’s popular shows, AdFeature with Andy Rice. Host of The Money Show, Bruce Whitfield, said on Tuesday, “He was so polite, he was such a wordsmith, so capable of crafting a thought on the fly that you’d be left afterwards wondering ‘what did he mean by that?’ I was flummoxed by him so often and I loved it about him – it was just this ability to do the most eviscerating criticism – and you wouldn’t know that he’d told you off, till days later…”
Whitfield also spoke to Refilwe Maluleke, MD of Yellowwood. She said, “It is a sad day for us at Yellowwood – and for the entire TBWA Group, to have lost someone who made such a phenomenal contribution to not only the industry, but of course also to Yellowwood by founding the business and establishing something that has existed for 27 years and continues to thrive.”
The Media Online has published social media tributes to a man who played a pivotal role in South Africa’s media industry.
When I first met you as a young and green marketer at the dawn of a new South Africa I was in awe. Of your intimidatingly 7 feet height or so. (Anyone an inch taller than me is that tall). Of your authoritative and commanding voice. Of your presence. Of your wit. Of your intellect. Of your experience, insights and clarity in building brands. Of your humility. Of your peerless work. A barometer of excellence for any marketer who wants to build a substantial and impactful career. All the beautiful, innate and effortless qualities of a good man that your Maker now wants for the higher room. Your work here is done and will last for generations. Many of us are better because we watched and learned from you. Rest in Peace #AndyRice
Gillian Freimond Rightford
I was very sad to learn of Andy Rice’s passing today. An incredible mind. A blistering sense of humour. A deep well of knowledge in our industry. The kindness of fellowship and mentorship. The ability to simplify complexities into erudite summaries that made you wonder how on earth he did that, seemingly so easily. Andy was an inspiration to me, and also an ally and supporter of any and (mostly) all of my ideas.
We shared the same philosophies around creativity and strategy and bemoaned those that couldn’t see what was so obviously the right thing to do. I’m sad we didn’t get to have that last glass of wine we planned to. He had a masterful way with words, and it’s at a time like this that words fail me.
I always loved his payoff line for his consulting and keynote speaker identity. Andy. Head and Shoulders above the rest. And so you were. Rest well dear friend. Condolences to your much beloved family and friends.
I am so sad to hear this news. Andy was a true gentleman, a true giant in the industry, in all senses, a great person and a good friend. My love to Bev and the family.
Odette van der Haar
My heart is so heavy. Dearest Andy, I learned so much from you. You were a dear friend, colleague and mentor for so many years. To Bev Russell-Rice and family, my heartfelt condolences to you. Andy was a very special human, a legend actually who truly stood a head and shoulders above us all. May his soul rest in peace.
So sad to read this Andy Rice was such a gentle-man and with such a brilliant mind. A consummate professional. Sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. May his soul rest in peace
It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of the legendary Andy Rice. Andy was not only a titan of the industry, but an inspiration to all who met him. Most of the Murmur team were fortunate enough to meet and work with Andy in our formative years at @askyellowwood , and we can honestly say he made a huge impact in our lives and careers.
A superior intellect, with a vast knowledge of the industry, razor sharp sense of humour, and a genuinely lovely human being. Despite his iconic status, Andy always had time for anyone, and was generous with his insights into the ad world. He will be sorely missed.
Our deepest condolences to his family, colleagues and all who feel his loss as deeply as we do today.
Charles Lee Mathews
Deeply sad to hear that Andy Rice, the founder of Yellowwood Brand Architects, passed away earlier today. He was one of SA’s best strategic thinkers. A great teacher and speaker and writer apart from being a brand legend. His brother, Sir Timothy Rice, is the famous lyricist best known for his collaborations with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.
As a journo I frequently interviewed Andy Rice, who had a sparkling intellect, who was so funny and charming. He always taught me something new in each interview. I will miss him. My thoughts are with his family.
#AndyRice #adlandlegend #gentlehuman
Andy Rice was a glorious example of what it meant to be a human being. When I first met him I was shaken by the fact he, one, knew who I was, and, two, had read all of my columns.
He was a voice of reason and direction in the maelstrom of creative living, because being a “creative” was not a job to him and nor should it be to anyone.
He made me laugh and he made me feel like I had done something special, no matter how small, and that was his gift.