by MarkLives (@marklives) MarkLives is tracking South African and African brand and ad agency reactions and news related to the covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Updates may be sent to us via our contact form or the email address published on our Contact Us page (opinion pieces/guest columns must be exclusive). Most-recent announcements will be added on top. This is for 13–17 April 2020.

While we have your attention: Please would you consider taking out a MarkLives membership to help finance our operations? The covid-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on society and industry. With your support, either as a once-off or monthly contribution, we can continue our coverage of its impact on our industry.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

All Loeries entries will be free

Loeries free entries for 2020The Loeries will be free for all entrants in 2020 and the entry deadline has also been extended to 15 June 2020.

“The covid-19 pandemic has created challenges across society and the brand communication industry is no exception,” says Preetesh Sewraj, new Loeries CEO. “The brand communication industry is an essential part of society and has been active in fighting the spread of the pandemic by working with governments to seed hygiene information, working with retailers to highlight where essentials can be bought and even working with various organisations to show businesses how to reduce the economic impact of COVID-19.

“We need to ensure that this industry is supported more than ever and we have decided to lend a helping hand to the industry by continuing to recognise the great work that has been done across Africa and the Middle East.”

Says Dawn Rowlands, Loeries board member, “I spend a great deal of time across Africa and the Middle East. A vibrant brand communication industry ensures that all sectors of society are supported, and this will only serve to strengthen our region. Making the entry free this year will ensure that vital messaging is recognised and forms a foundation for our next phase when we deal with a post-covid-19 world. This could be one of the most important Loeries events held in its 42-year history.”


Free ads on Jacaranda, ECR for struggling companies

Businesses and advertisers struggling to stay afloat could qualify for some extra help from Kagiso Media Radio. Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio, together with Mediamark, are offering qualifying advertising airtime at no cost, in an initiative aimed at assisting businesses and advertisers who are struggling to make ends meet.

Says Nick Grubb, Kagiso Media Radio chief executive. “Our business has been built from the advertising spend of our clients — from large multinationals to small local store-owners. We see it as our responsibility to be there for them when times are tough and do what we can to keep them afloat and uppermost in the minds of their markets.”

All registered and legal businesses that are facing financial or any other downscale because of the coronavirus pandemic may apply. Businesses have until 30 April to apply by applying at or or emailing Applications will be decided on by a Kagiso Media task team.


21 Days. 21 Artists. 21 Impacts.

The Lockdown Collection is a charitable initiative aimed at capturing these extraordinary times in South African history and raising much-needed funds for artists and the broader community as a result of the ripple effect of covid-19. The online campaign was launched across various social media platforms on 27 March and will be running until 17 April 2020.

The art-inspired initiative is the brainchild of Carl Bates, Sirdar Group chief executive; Lauren
Woolf, MRS WOOLF founder and owner; and Kim Berman, Artist Proof Studio founding director and
UJ visual arts professor. Participating artists cover a broad spectrum of talent, including Penny Siopis, Gerhard Marx, Lindo Zwane, Ardmore Ceramic Art, Walter Oltmann, Diane Victor, Thenjiwe Nkosi and more.

Anyone may support the initiative by purchasing art pieces showcased on the #TheLockdownCollection
social media platforms, or simply donating to the fund. All proceeds generated will
go to participating artists (which many donate back into the funds) and the President’s Solidarity Fund, as
well as a newly created Vulnerable Visual Artist Fund, which intends to be open for grants from next

How it works

A series of 21 art pieces, each created by a different South African artist, is being revealed each day during lockdown. Participating artists each create something that reflects the thoughts, feelings, vision or captured moments of their covid-19 experience.

Anyone may register and make offers on these unique pieces by going to For more info, go to


Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Joe Public execs support Solidarity Fund

Heeding the call made by President Cyril Ramaphosa during last week’s lockdown extension speech, the founders of Joe Public United — Gareth Leck, GCEO, and Pepe Marais, group chief creative officer — have elected to reduce their salaries by one-third for the next three months with immediate effect. The funds raised in doing so will be donated to the Solidarity Fund in support of South Africa’s covid-19 relief efforts.

“The decision is aligned to the purpose of our business and is simply the correct thing to do during these extraordinary times,” says Marais.

Leck adds, “We remain united in the growth of our country and encourage executives within the advertising industry, who can do so, to respond to the president’s call in a likewise manner.”


Durban signage company making face masks

Expand A Sign, which traditionally manufactures portable branding solutions such as gazebos, banners and inflatables, has developed and secured orders for washable and reusable face masks aimed at helping SA stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

According to Don Bailey, Expand A Sign chief executive, the shift in production to face masks is an opportunity to support staff and their families during the lockdown. Expand A Sign applied for and has been granted permission to operate as an essential service to produce these masks. It began fine-tuning the design and quality testing the masks last week. The masks have been successfully tested using a hospital autoclave machine to prove they can withstand temperatures of up to 130 degrees. This means that, unlike conventional disposable masks, they may be washed, sterilised and used again.

“These are not the medical grade masks that our health workers require, but masks that can help you and your employees to reduce the spread of the virus. We have developed a mask that is made of two pieces of locally woven 100% polyester 200gsm fabric, essentially doubling the barrier effect. It also has a handy internal pouch and elastic for an easy fit,” he explains.

“Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has advised all South Africans to use masks, especially when using public transport. I am pleased that our staff can help ensure that we do not have shortages of masks while still earning a living to take care of their families,” Bailey adds.

Bailey urges South Africans to take every precaution possible to prevent transmission of this coronavirus to others. This not only includes wearing protective masks but regularly washing hands and practising social distancing protocols.

While we have your attention: Please would you consider taking out a MarkLives membership to help finance our operations? The covid-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on society and industry. With your support, either as a once-off or monthly contribution, we can continue our coverage of its impact on our industry.


See also


MarkLives logoThis MarkLives #CoronavirusSA special section contains coverage of how the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and its resultant disease, covid-19, is affecting the advertising, marketing and related industries in South Africa and other parts of Africa, and how we are responding. Updates may be sent to us via our contact form or the email address published on our Contact Us page. Opinion pieces/guest columns must be exclusive.

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

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