A new black-owned marketing and communications holding company is planning to compete with established global agency networks. M&N Brands is the latest project of Zibusiso Mkhwanazi and Veli Ngubane, the founders of advertising agency Avatar. M&N Brands, 100%-owned by Mkhwanazi and Ngubane, has investments in Avatar 360Group, the M&C Saatchi Group and a number of independent agencies around the country. The establishment of M&N Brands is in response to SA not having a wholly locally owned agency network. “The major part of the SA advertising and communications industry is owned by European or American groups,” says Mkhwanazi, adding that essentially SA does not own its own industry. “We grew Avatar into the agency it is today with a challenger mentality and we plan to grow M&N Brands in the same way.” Becoming part of this locally owned network offers agencies a number of benefits, says Mkhwanazi, including that of sharing resources. For example, agencies within the network could us...

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