Transformation has long been a contentious issue in the advertising industry. The marketing, advertising & communication charter (MAC charter) was promulgated in 2016, replacing the generic BEE codes and giving the industry specific BEE targets. However, despite the existence of the MAC charter, criticisms that the industry is not transforming quickly enough have been persistent. Of the 11 largest agencies, the majority have achieved the charter’s 45% black equity targets, with eight agencies boasting black ownership of 51%. But ownership is not the only requirement for a transformed industry.

The issue of transformation was the focus of a recent digital discussion moderated by Bongani Chinkanda, founder of Diaries of a Salesman, in conversation with Pepe Marais, the group chief creative officer of Joe Public United; Khensani Nobanda, group executive of group marketing & corporate affairs at Nedbank; and Veli Ngubane, founding partner and chief creative officer at Avatar. The ...

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