ACA Board of Directors for 2017/2018 Announced

On Wednesday 5th July 2017, The Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) held its 70th Annual General Meeting at the AAA School of Advertising campus in Johannesburg.  At the AGM, the new Board of Directors for the 2017/2018 fiscal were elected – they are:

Adeshia Singh Managing Director Singh & Sons
Alison Deeb Group CEO Metropolitan Republic
Alistair Mokoena Managing Director Ogilvy, Jhb
Andrew Shuttleworth Executive MD House of Brave
Boniswa Pezisa Group CEO Net#work BBDO
Charl Thom Group CEO FoxP2
Dale Tomlinson CEO The Hardy Boys
Gareth Leck Group CEO Joe Public United
James Barty Group Managing Director King James
James Moffatt CEO Promise Brand Specialists
Karabo Denalane CEO TBWA\Hunt Lascaris, Jhb
Kershnee Pillay Managing Partner Mindshare
Kevan Aspoas CEO The Jupiter Drawing Room, CT
Lebogang Masilela HR Director Joe Public
Masego Motsogi Managing Director Ninety9cents Jhb
Mike Gendel CEO Gendel Strategic Marketing Group
Mxolisi Buthelezi Founder / CEO June15 Advertising
Odette van der Haar Chief Executive Officer Association for Communication & Advertising
Paul Middleton Managing Director Ebony & Ivory
Russell Cory Chief Financial Officer Association for Communication & Advertising
Sarah Dexter Managing Director MullenLowe SA
Thabang Skwambane Managing Director FCB, Jhb
Wayne Naidoo CEO Duke Advertising
Wimpie le Roux Managing Director Publicis Machine
Xola Nouse Managing Director The Odd Number

At the meeting, outgoing Chair of the ACA Board, Mike Gendel reported on the ACA’s activities during the preceding fiscal.  The report began with a review of how the economy had affected the profession during the fiscal. In his report, he noted that during the period under review the advertising and communications profession operated under extraordinarily difficult trading circumstances. This was exacerbated by the  economy experiencing a technical economic recession and, coupled with the negative market sentiment caused by the ongoing state capture saga, weighed heavily on lack-lustre growth in marketing spend.

Looking forward to the ensuing period, Gendel stated that “according to the IMF, GDP growth in 2017 is projected at a nominal 0.8% which will see depressed consumer demand and a knock-on conservative approach by marketers.”

On a positive note, Gendel announced that since the MAC Sector Charter was gazetted under Section 9(1) of the Act on 06 May 2016 the ACA Secretariat has moved from acting as ‘architect and author’ of the Code to being a ‘facilitator and mentor’ and the three-stage education and mentorship programme has received excellent feedback from our member agencies who have experienced the benefits.

Addressing education and training, Gendel advised that the education sector was not for the faint hearted and that the AAA School of Advertising had some challenges to overcome. He announced that the AAA board is currently exploring various business and marketing strategies to reposition the school and increase the brand’s attractiveness in the market. .

With skills development being an important sustainable pillar of true transformation in our country, Gendel added that there is a need to up the game in marketing the advertising profession to teenagers, their parents and school administrators. He added that ‘I would like to see a major effort undertaken by the ACA in the 2017-2020 period, including setting ambitious skills development goals and monitoring the impact of our strategy on our member agency staffing and retention levels.”

On matters of the ASA and self-regulation, Gendel announced that the ACA had gone ‘above and beyond’ its responsibility and mandate in participating in the restructuring and rebirth of the ASA and as a director on the ASA board, he noted his appreciation to all from the ACA who assisted as pro bono specialist consultants or donors.

Gendel went on to note the important role the ACA plays in protecting the business interests of its member agencies. He continued by saying that it is of vital importance that the ACA builds on this hard-won reputation for insisting on fair business practice and protection of our intellectual property, by standing united in tenders and pitches.

He also voiced his appreciation with respect to the brand reputation and the high esteem in which the ACA is held in the broader business community and  pledged the support of the board to the idea of ‘future-proofing’ the profession through defending intellectual property, investing in education and training and continuing to hone skills in an ever-changing media landscape.

The outgoing chair furthermore made noted the continued excellence achieved by the world class APEX awards and how it continues to impress marketers and advertising practitioners. He complimented the ACA CEO and APEX Portfolio Chair, Gareth Leck for continuing to steer the annual APEX awards in the right directions and for enhancing its reputation. In terms of additional ACA assets, Gendel noted that as at 03 July 2017, 115 registered marketers are using the ACA Agency Locator app to identify custom variables about 36 registered ACA member agencies in good standing.

Gendel went on to add that the year in review had seen continued challenges with regards to legislative and regulatory matters, most notably the UK ASA implementation of rules banning the advertising of high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food or drink products in media targeting under-16s. He went on to note the proposed implementation of the so-called sugar tax touted by government would have a significant effect on marketing investment.  On the proposed restrictions on Alcohol advertising, Gendel noted that while it is being debated at Nedlac between government, business and labour at this time, the South African Liquor Brand Owners Association (SALBA) believes that the bill will be delayed.

Gendel expressed his thanks to the hard-working outgoing board and other agency personnel who served on the various operational committees. A special note of thanks went to the ACA vice Chairs, for always providing him and the CEO with counsel, advice and guidance, and to CEO, Odette van der Haar who continues to set the benchmark for passion and tireless commitment to achieving the goals which this board has set her. A special note of thanks went to the Vice Chairs who always provided good counsel, advice and guidance, and to the ACA CEO, Odette van der Haar, for her passion and tireless commitment to achieving the goals which the Board set her, and to Russell Cory and the rest of the ACA team.

In concluding he wished the incoming board well, noting that they are inheriting a robust, efficient association, with a hardworking, determined culture; one that is highly respected in the broader business community and in government.

The ACA is the official, representative body for the Communications and Advertising profession in South Africa, representing agencies in the profession (who at present contribute approximately 95% of South Africa’s measured ad spend) to government, media and the public. The ACA is a voluntary body formed by and for the industry, focused on and committed to self-regulation and to defending the highest standards of ethical practice.


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