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Research news

Ettiene van den Berg to head up SAARF as interim CEO

Ettiene van den Berg has been appointed as the new interim CEO to manage the overhaul of South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF).

Ettiene van den Berg
This follows the announcement in July 2013 that the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) would withdraw from SAARF by the end of 2014, putting the future of joint-industry media audience research in the balance.

After months of consulting with stakeholders, the SAARF board has now taken the next step towards clarifying the future of the industry body. Van den Berg, who is tasked with ushering in the next chapter of media audience research in South Africa, in whatever form this may take, is currently MD of collaborative marketing intelligence firm, BrandFusion.

His appointment is from 1 December 2013 until the end of 2014. Dr Paul Haupt, who retires at the end of March 2014, will take on the title of executive advisor from 1 December 2013.

Transforming SAARF

It is his experience as a change facilitation specialist, as well as a transformational and business coach, that has special relevance to the process of transforming SAARF.

Van Den Berg says he comes at this challenge from a fresh perspective. "I am not a researcher, but rather a research user. Having spent years in a number of industry environments, including broadcasting, marketing and advertising, I've used the foundation's products intensively and so can bring a user-centric perspective to the current industry debate."

While his mandate has yet to be finalised by the board, he says the first step in his role as change agent will be to engage intensively with stakeholders to understand clearly the business case for change and the extent thereof.

The second step will be to create a new vision and business model for the foundation, in whatever form it might take.

Once this is done, he will put together a representative group of stakeholders to form a guiding coalition willing to effect this change.
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