Brain gain

Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

HKLM CON­NECT, the newly formed ad­ver­tis­ing arm of South Africa’s big­gest de­sign shop, has man­aged to re­verse the brain drain by lur­ing a top South African back from over­seas as ex­ec­u­tive creative di­rec­tor. He’s Ross Ven­tress, who spent 10 years in Sin­ga­pore with Bar­tle Bo­gel Hegerty, had an op­por­tu­nity in New York but de­cided on Jo­han­nes­burg.

Why? “My wife and I never in­tended to em­i­grate but ended up stay­ing in Sin­ga­pore. We felt it was time to re­con­nect with home and our roots. Such great things are hap­pen­ing here and there’s a won­der­ful en­ergy. The pos­i­tiv­ity far ex­ceeds the neg­a­tiv­ity. I’d rather be dead than go to Aus­tralia.”

HKLM Con­nect opened for busi­ness in Oc­to­ber 2007 and now has seven staffers and billings of around R15m. Clients in­clude the Uni­ver­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg, the Pro­fes­sional Prov­i­dent So­ci­ety, a Ned­bank in­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­gramme to 26 000 peo­ple, an event for Brands and Brand­ing, Afrib­ank in Nige­ria and PK chew­ing gum.

“We’re try­ing to of­fer a seam­less 360de­gree ap­proach, with ar­chi­tects, de­sign­ers, dig­i­tal and above-the-line el­e­ments,” says agency MD Tracy Nether­sole. “We have a dual role: of­fer­ing an ex­tra di­men­sion to ex­ist­ing HKLM clients and build­ing our own client base. We can go to above-the­line pitches now, giv­ing us an op­por­tu­nity to build re­la­tion­ships with clients.”

Ross Ven­tress

Hot work for PK gum.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.