Transformation of advertising & marketing industry: Marketing Federation of Southern Africa

13 November 2002


In October 2001 the Portfolio Committee on Communications in the National Assembly, chaired by Mr. Nat Kekane, MP, convened a public hearing to address concerns about the pace of transformation in the marketing and communications industry. The major concern as expressed by some media owners was that adspend was skewed along racial lines and not reflective of the spirit of our new democracy and the demographics of the market. In short, the accusation against the marketing industry was that adspend in 'black media' reflected past biases.

At the end of the public hearings the marketing and communications industry (i.e. marketers, agencies and media owners) agreed that all the relevant players will participate in discussions convened by GCIS and report back to parliament a year later.

It is in this context that MFSA present this report to put on record a comprehensive position of our organisation and to report on progress since the debate in October 2002.

The birth of MFSA

Over the past two years the Association of Marketers, the Direct Marketing Association and the Institute of Marketing Management was involved in protracted discussions and negotiations to create a new unified body to represent the industry. On 27 September 2002, the three organisations signed an amalgamation agreement. The first board was constituted under the leadership of Mr. Jabu Mabuza (Chairperson) and Mr. Moss Mashishi (Deputy Chair) and Mr. Michael Judin (Deputy Chair).

MFSA vision is to create a powerful voice for the marketing industry in South Africa. The first step in our transformation process is to make sure that our board is representative.

The second step is that the staff of MFSA reflects the demographics of our country and that a comprehensive empowerment policy is put in place for MFSA.

The third step is to ensure that our members commit themselves to a transformation charter. The principles of this transformation charter are spelt out in this document.

Values Statement

MFSA supports and formally endorses the Values Statement of the Marketing and Communications Industry.

MFSA Transformation Charter

The Marketing Federation of Southern Africa will encourage its members to embrace the process of transformation and change in our country. We are in the process of developing a transformation charter which will be adopted by all members. The following is a draft that is currently under discussion:

We, the members of the Marketing Federation of Southern Africa commit ourselves:

  • To build the marketing and communications industry and to promote entrepreneurship in South Africa.
  • To promote excellence and professionalism in the marketing and communications industry.
  • To promote self-regulation in our industry.
  • To promote good corporate governance and ethical behaviour in line with the ASA Code of Conduct.
  • To promote and maintain fair, reasonable, honourable and proper standards and conditions of marketing and to investigate, take action against and discourage any and all improper, misleading, incorrect and fraudulent methods of marketing.
  • To promote public confidence in marketing and communications, including advertising and advertised goods and services.
  • To promote and encourage the development of skills through training and education through the IMM GSM and other tertiary institutions.

We further commit ourselves to mobilize our collective resources to transform our industry in line with the goals as determined from time to time to ensure that all South Africans irrespective of race, creed, religion, gender and disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in our industry as entrepreneurs, employees and customers.

We solemnly pledge to work tirelessly to transform our industry in line with the constitutional rights of equality and the promotion of true democracy and the elimination of unfair discrimination in our society.

In particular the Marketing Federation of Southern Africa will encourage its members to active address the following areas:


The promotion and encouragement of diversity in ownership and economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged groups in line with industry specific charters.

Employment Equity

To ensure that members implement comprehensive employment equity policies to address the consequences of discrimination and achieve a workforce that is representative of the people of South Africa. To promote representivity in all levels of employment i.e. senior management, middle management and staff with clear targets and timeframes.

Procurement policies

To encourage empowerment through our procurement procedures and policies. MFSA will cooperate with the ACA, AMF and other industry bodies to establish agreed principles on procurement will be based.

Identification of target markets

One of the central roles of marketing is to identify the target markets for products and service. We are committed to ensure that our members embrace the opportunities democracy brought with the opening of new and emergent markets.

Education and Training

To promote the development of skills through the IMM GSM and other tertiary institutions and to ensure access to educational opportunities for all students. The demographic profile of the students in the IMM GSM in 2000 is set out in the table below. There were 5 419 students registered in South Africa and 2113 students in other SADC countries. The largest number of students in other SADC countries is from Zimbabwe. In South Africa 56,7% of the students are black and 43,7% are white. The vast majority of students in the other SADC countries are black even though we do not collect the data on a race basis. In South Africa 49% of the students are male and 51% are female.

Awards (Loeries, Raptor, Assegaai and Tusk)

The MFSA hosts a number of awards. These awards are:

  • The Loerie Awards to promote excellence in creativity.
  • The Raptor Awards to promote excellence in sponsorship.
  • The Assegaai Awards to promote excellence in effectiveness and direct marketing.
  • The Tusk Awards to promote excellence in marketing.

We are committed through the reward of excellence in our industry:

  • To promote South Africaness in marketing and communication, including advertising.
  • To provide access to students, and young employees to these events in order to motivate and mobilize excellence in our industry.
  • To promote diversity through the awards.
  • To develop role models.


The Marketing Federation of Southern Africa is further committed to make resources available to monitor progress with the implementation of the commitment its members make. We are also proposing that an Industry Forum be created where all stakeholders could present these reports on an annual basis.


We acknowledge that task to transformation our industry is urgent. The birth of the Marketing Federation of Southern Africa is an important first step in this process. We are committed work with our sister organisations to address these challenges. In particular, we will work with the ACA on the following projects:

  • The establishment of a development foundation to promote entrepreneurship in the marketing and communications industry.
  • The transformation of the Loerie Awards.

- Marketing Federation of Southern Africa