Memo to staff at the Young & Rubicam (Y&R) SA and Native VML advertising agencies: when chairman Yossi Schwartz invites you to share a bottle of whisky at his farewell party in September, don’t hold back. He has thousands more. After 27 years in advertising and 14 as chairman of the Y&R SA group, Schwartz is leaving to create specialist whiskies. What has been a part-time diversion — maturing whiskies in flavoured wooden casks to create unique flavours — is about to become a full-blown career. "The break from advertising will be absolute," he says. "There is no coming back. Whisky will be my 100%." Shwartz says drinking whisky "makes me happy and chilled". The same hasn’t always been true of advertising. In 2016, Y&R SA lost the Pick n Pay account it had held for 48 years and that, in many ways, defined the agency. After an extended pitch process, the account was won by the King James agency. Schwartz tries to put a positive spin on the loss. "I think it has turned out to be good fo...

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