Duke Group

10 South African women in marketing you need to know about

by Media Update

South Africa plays host to a huge number of incredible women within the marketing sector. While many of them are often talked about, some go unnoticed. So, to celebrate Women’s Day 2020, media update’s Aisling McCarthy has compiled a list of 10 women in marketing that you should know about.

The world of marketing is fast-paced and high-pressure, and often  led by phenomenal female creatives.

So, in support of the strong, brave and incredibly talented women doing their part to drive the industry forward, we thought we’d highlight the accomplishments of some of South Africa’s premier marketing mavens.

While many of the women on this list are well known, some of them are unsung heroes that should be household names. With any luck, this list will help them along the path to greatness.

1. Fran Luckin

You can’t mention the word ‘marketing’ in South Africa without the great Fran Luckin coming to mind! She currently serves as the chief creative officer at Grey Africa, driving campaigns for big-name brands like Volvo, Consol and Nestlé. Most recently, Luckin has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Loerie Awards.

Fran Luckin

Having bagged awards from just about every major awards festival, like Cannes Lion Film Festival, the Clio Awards and D&AD, she has more than earned her stripes as one of the country’s foremost creative leaders.

Along with having won various awards, Luckin is a regular on the judging panel of many of them. She has served on the jury for the Loerie Awards, the Effie AwardsCannes Lions Film and Outdoor, among others.

Check out her Twitter page here.

2. Nunu Ntshingila-Njeke

Nunu Ntshingila-Njeke is Facebook’s head of Africa, responsible for leading the team that engages with agencies and brands across the continent to help them make the most of the platform’s offerings.

Nunu Ntshingila-Njeke

In 2016, she became the very first woman to be inducted into the Loeries Hall of Fame for her work in leading and transforming the ad world in South Africa.

With a passion for using technology to drive social inclusion in Africa, Ntshingila-Njeke is arguably one of the most inspiring women in the industry. Although she studied nothing to do with advertising, she held a long career at Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, working as deputy MD and later as CEO.

She has served on the global Ogilvy & Mather board, as well as on the board of Transnet, the V&A Waterfront and Old Mutual South Africa.

Check out her Twitter page here.

3. Suhana Gordhan

As of Tuesday, 1 September, Suhana Gordhan will be the new executive director at Duke Group. Gordhan is undoubtedly one of the most high-profile women in the advertising industry, having previously served as ECD at FCB Africa and CD at Net#work BBDO, VML South AFrica and Black River FC.

Suhana Gordhan

Having previously served as the Loeries ‘chair aunty’, Gordhan is extremely committed to growing the number — and caliber — of young women in the industry. Along with Simoné Bosman and Jenny Glover, Gordhan conceived the Open Chair initiative, which offers young women the chance to be mentored by some of the industry’s most successful ladies.

She also has an impressive number of award wins under her belt, including a Loeries Grand PrixBlack EagleGold PendoringCreative Circle Ad of the Year, a Silver Pixel at The Bookmarks and a Cannes Silver Lion.

Check out her Twitter page here.

4. Jenny Glover

Jenny Glover is the ECD at TBWA in Toronto, Canada. Before making her move across the world, she worked as the ECD at TBWA Hunt Lascaris, as well as the ECD at Net#work BBDO.

Jenny Glover

Although she holds a law degree, her real passion lies in radio and copywriting. She has won metal in the Radio category at international awards over 45 times, including four D&AD Yellow Pencils, nine Gold Cannes Lions, a Cannes Grand Prix, as well as a tidy stash of local awards.

She has judged at numerous awards — both locally and internationally — and co-founded the Open Chair initiative with Simoné Bosman and Suhana Gordhan.

5. Odette van der Haar

In September 2019, Odette Van Der Haar took up the spot as MD of Publicis Africa. Previously, she has worked as the CEO of J Walter Thompson South Africa and the Association for Communication and Advertising, where she spearheaded the revival of the highly-coveted APEX Awards (now the Effies).

Odette van der Haar

She has a reputation for championing transformation within the industry, having co-authored the industry’s now-legislated Charter for Transformation. She also serves as the industry representative for transformation on the Charter Council.

Van Der Haar is a regular judge for various industry awards and, throughout her career, has been awarded titles including ‘Woman of the Year’, ‘The Most Influential Woman in Business and Government’ as well as ‘The Most Powerful Woman in South African Digital Marketing’.

6. Boniswa Pezisa

Boniswa Pezisa

Boniswa Pezisa is the current CEO of Net#work BBDO. Having worked with clients across numerous sectors, including retail, auto-makers, finance, FMCG, telcos and many more, Peziswa is a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

She previously served as the chairperson of the Association of Communication and Advertising board, as well as the Loeries. She was also one of the founding directors of the Dreamfields Project, which aims to uplift communities through soccer.

Check out her Twitter page here.

7. Koo Govender

Koo Govender is the current CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network South Africa. She has previously worked as the group CEO of the VWV Group South Africa (the first female to take up this role in the company) and as director of corporate marketing and communications at M-Net.

Koo Govender

Govender has a real passion for women’s empowerment and mentorship, which is evident through her championing the Phakama Women’s Academy. The Academy serves as a bridging programme to equip and empower marketing university graduates for what the corporate life is really like.

She has won numerous business and female-empowerment awards, including the Mail & Guardian Investing in the Future and Drivers of Change Awards in 2015.

8. Robyn Campbell

Robyn Campbell

Robyn Campbell took over as the managing director of brand experience company Machine in March. Before taking up this role, Campbell served as the MD of TTL agency, HelloFCB+. She is also the head of the agency council at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

With over a decade of experience in the marketing industry, she has played a significant role in developing a variety of specialist units.

She is passionate about transformation and equality within the marketing industry, and spends much of her time contributing to thought leadership, mentoring or developing initiatives.

Check out her Twitter page here.

9. Masego Motsogi

Masego Motsogi

Masego Motsogi is the managing director of Grid Worldwide, having previously held the role of MD at Ninety9Cents Johannesburg, business unit director at McCann Erickson and Ogilvy & Mather South Africa.

With nearly two decades worth of experience in the marketing industry, she has worked with clients across an extremely diverse portfolio. She has a keen interest in youth and female development, as well as developing the industry as a whole.

10. Nkgabiseng Motau

Nkgabiseng Motau is the co-founder and CCO of TTL creative agency Think Creative Africa. Previously, she has worked as the art director at FCB and Ogilvy Johannesburg.

Nkgabiseng Motau

She has been called upon to judge various industry awards, including PendoringCreative CircleCannes Young Lion and the Nestlé Art Project. She has also received a Gold Pendoring award for her work on the branding of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

She gives back to the industry serving as a board membership at Creative Circle, the Loeries Committee as well as mentorship through The One Club Creative Bootcamp and the Loeries Open Chair.