Ex­ec­u­tive merry-go-round

Top agency staff are on the move in an in­dus­try in flux

Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & marketing - BY TONY KOEN­DER­MAN tonyk@fin­week.co.za

THE AD IN­DUS­TRY is in a state of flux, par­tially at­trib­ut­able to Jupiter Draw­ing Room’s ac­qui­si­tion of R1,2bn in new billings late last year. Jupiter has made 100 new ap­point­ments, with more to come, cre­at­ing vac­u­ums to be filled and op­por­tu­ni­ties to be grasped amid a gen­eral mood of change and un­cer­tainty.

The year has started off with a mer­rygo-round of se­nior ad agency ex­ec­u­tive ap­point­ments, in­clud­ing:

Muzi Kuzwayo has been ap­pointed MD of TBWA\Hunt\Las­caris Jo­han­nes­burg, the flag­ship agency of TBWA South Africa, one of the coun­try’s top three mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions groups – but not per­form­ing with the same verve as it used to.

His pre­de­ces­sor, David Wing­field, be­comes MD Global Ac­counts, re­spon­si­ble for the de­vel­op­ment and man­age­ment of Stan­dard Bank on a global ba­sis within the TBWA net­work. There still seems to be a gap in the or­gan­i­sa­tion for a group CEO, the po­si­tion held un­til re­cently by Mike Bos­man, but Jo­han­nes­burg agency chair­man Rein­her Behrens says this won’t hap­pen in the short term. “We are fo­cus­ing on get­ting our op­er­at­ing units work­ing op­ti­mally.”

The move has been a blow to KingJames, where Kuzwayo was the black em­pow­er­ment leader and share­holder. “We were sur­prised and deeply sad­dened,” says creative di­rec­tor Alis­tair King. “This has dis­rupted our em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme. It shows you can never take any­thing for granted.”

Kuzwayo, for­merly a di­rec­tor and part­ner of KingJames, is the au­thor of best­selling books on mar­ket­ing. He says his aim is “to en­trench my­self into this new en­vi­ron­ment and add a bit of spit and pol­ish to an al­ready high-profile brand”.

Jo­han­nes­burg chair­man Rein­her Behrens says Kuzwayo is “ideally poised to drive the agency phi­los­o­phy. We look to him to chal­lenge our approach in driv­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion con­cepts”.

Mean­while, in Cape Town, Lowe Bull group MD Gil­lian Right­ford has de­cided not to re­turn to her po­si­tion af­ter her ma­ter­nity leave. She’s been with the group for seven years and took over as MD when agency founder Matthew Bull went to Lon­don as CEO of Lowe Lon­don. Now Bull is back, also based in Cape Town. Was Cape Town too small for the two of them?

“We had spo­ken about whether there would be a role for me when Matthew re­turned from Lon­don, and now I have given my­self two months to look around,” she says.

“I don’t want to go back to a tra­di­tional agency, but there is lots of in­ter­est­ing stuff out there. It will have to be a na­tional of­fer­ing.”

FCB creative di­rec­tor Brett Mor­ris has left the agency for fast-food chain Nando’s, where he will oc­cupy a new po­si­tion as chief creative of­fi­cer. He will be work­ing with the mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor on a global level.

Lowe Bull Cape Town creative di­rec­tor Porky He­fer has left the agency to start his own shop, called An­i­mal Farm. “It’s the start of a revo­lu­tion,” he says.

“The cur­rent struc­ture of ad agen­cies is very re­stric­tive for big ideas. I want to own the idea and orig­i­nal creative think­ing and get paid for it.” But He­fer won’t be to­tally lost to Lowe Bull: the agency is now one of his clients.

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