by Herman Manson (@marklives) We list the most-read-about people on MarkLives during 2017.

1. Agency Leaders’ Most Admired 2016

Making of 2016 MarkLives Agency Leaders Most Admired posters by Musonda Kabwe

Our announcement of our annual Agency Leaders awards for 2016! [The 2017 results will be released during February 2018; subscribe to our newsletter for twice-weekly updates].

Brett Morris, group CEO and group CCO at FCB Africa, emerged as the most-admired agency boss in South Africa in 2016. James Barty, co-founder and chief executive at King James Group, was our runner-up. Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, CEO and co-founder at AVATAR, as well as Mike Abel, co-founder and CE partner at M&C Saatchi Abel, received honourable mentions.

Alistair King, founding creative partner at King James Group, was named our most-admired creative leader, with Ahmed Tilly, joint chief creative officer at FCB Africa, named runner-up. Molefi Thulo, creative director at Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg, was named a contender.

Our most-admired ad agency was King James Group and our runner-up was FCB Africa. OFYT was named the agency to watch in 2017, with AVATAR and The Odd Number tied as runners-up. Promise was named as a contender. The VML and Y&R Africa Group was voted most digitally integrated, with Avatar as our runner-up.

2016 National

2016 Gauteng

2016 Cape Town


2. Big changes at Ogilvy & Mather South Africa

Abey MokgwatsaneAbey Mokgwatsane resigns from Ogilvy & Mather SA

Ogilvy & Mather South Africa confirmed the resignation of Abey Mokgwatsane as its CEO. He left at the end of September 2017 to join Vodacom as its new managing executive for brand and communications.

Alistair MokoenaAlistair Mokoena to lead Ogilvy South Africa

Ogilvy South Africa subsequently announced the appointment of Alistair Mokoena as its new chief executive officer.


3. Young, Gifted & Killing It!

Young, Gifted & Killing It! 2017

We struck gold this year, and we didn’t have to dig too deep to find the shining nuggets in our industry. Just scratch the surface, and there they are: young and gifted creatives who’re killing it! as copy- and scriptwriters, creative, art and film directors, executive producers and more. As we discovered when we interviewed them during the year, they’re adding lustre and rich diversity to our industry.

Find our overview and links to all the individual interviews here.


4. Neo Mashigo joins M&C Saatchi Group

Neo Mashigo

Neo Mashigo became the new creative partner for the M&C Saatchi South Africa Group of Companies. Based out of Cape Town, his primary role is to help build the group by partnering Gordon Ray (founding partner: ECD Cape Town) and Adam Weber (partner: ECD Johannesburg) within M&C Saatchi Abel, as well as the leadership teams from Dalmatian, Creative Spark and Avatar, where needed.


5. Masego Motsogi MD of 99c’s new Jozi agency

Masego Motsogi

Masego Motsogi was appointed as managing director of the new Johannesburg agency for of Ninety9cents (99c), effective 1 February 2017. [Motsogi resigned in late 2017 — ed.]


6. Management changes at M&C Saatchi Jhb

Jerry Mpufane

The M&C Saatchi Group promoted of Jerry Mpufane, group managing director (Gauteng), to the position of chairperson of the M&C Saatchi Abel JHB Group of Companies. Alan Bell, former MD at The Hardy Boys, took on the role of partner and MD at M&C Saatchi Abel’s Joburg office.


7. New CMO for MMI Holdings

Nontokozo Madonsela

Nontokozo Madonsela was appointed as the new group chief marketing officer (CMO) for MMI Holdings. Her group executive role gives her marketing oversight over the MMI Group as a whole, including the following brands: Momentum, Metropolitan, Multiply and GuardRisk. She officially started at MMI on Monday, 9 October 2017.


8. Graham Lang resigned from Y&R South Africa

Graham Lang

Graham Lang, chief creative officer of Y&R South Africa and Africa, left the agency at the end of November 2017. Toronto-based agency, Juniper Park\TBWA, subsequently announced that it had hired Graham Lang as its new CCO. Lang leads the agency’s creative output and assists in further growing the business across North America.


9. New ECD for M&C Saatchi Abel Joburg

Adam Weber

M&C Saatchi Abel Joburg appointed Adam Weber as partner and executive creative director. Weber, who began his career over 20 years ago, joined the partnership at M&C Saatchi Abel from Joe Public.


10. Yossi Schwartz left Y&R Africa

Y&R Yossi Schwartz

Y&R South Africa announced the resignation of Yossi Schwartz, group chairman of Y&R Africa, effective end of September 2017. Schwarz, who had been with Y&R since the 2001 acquisition of his independent agency, Gitam SA, decided to pursue other business and personal interests.


11. Tony Koenderman earned the mantle “legend”

Tony Koenderman

As Matthew Bull wrote in our tribute, “I recall the first time I spoke to him as a wiseass creative director at Tholet Sievers, telling him how great we were. He calmly told me he would reserve judgement. Which, in a sense, epitomised the man. He had values, principles. He was not one for the flamboyant, off-the-cuff, flavour of the month. He was studied, meticulous, professional. But he knew what he liked. And what he liked were companies, people, work that tried to do things of exceptional value, things of substance.

“I learned a great deal from him. I had a propensity to shoot my mouth off in those early days and a man of lesser integrity could have burned me on the page, had he so chosen to.”


Herman Manson 2017Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of

Sign up now for the MarkLives email newsletter every Monday and Thursday, now including headlines from the company newsroom service!


Published by Herman Manson is edited by Herman Manson. Follow us on Twitter -

Online CPD Courses Psychology Online CPD Courses Marketing analytics software Marketing analytics software for small business Business management software Business accounting software Gearbox repair company Makeup artist