The inaugural Vodacom Social Media Journalist of the Year in 2011, Herman Manson (@marklives) is a business journalist and media commentator who edits industry news site His writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines locally and abroad, including He also co-founded Brand magazine.
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Herman Manson
[Marketing & Media] MarkLives refused media accreditation to The Loerie Award shows (again)
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AwardsCandy - SA app start-up signing global award shows

Wallace Seggie, a South African creative director, has developed an iOS app that brings together in one place award-winning work from a number of the world's largest advertising festivals. Called AwardsCandy, it has even been awarded official Media Partner status for the 2012 Clios. (video)

By Herman Manson 11 May 2012

Ninety9cents lands Capitec, sees 43% growth y/y

Cape Town headquartered agency, ninety9cents, has landed the ATL Capitec account* - probably the most exciting banking brand any agency can hope to work on. Capitec, it's estimated, spends R80-R100 million on advertising through a year.

By Herman Manson 9 May 2012

Press freedom, the commission and you

How wonderful that, in South Africa's high-volume politics, the chance to step back from the abyss still presents itself. The Press Freedom Commission report on media regulation seems to have created an opportunity for politicians to jump the puddle that would have sucked them and the rest of us down an acrimonious path to the Constitutional Court and a bareknuckle fight on our hard-fought right to know (the truth - and not just Jimmy Manyi's).

By Herman Manson 26 Apr 2012

Cell C drops King James, FoxP2 - retains Ogilvy

Cell C has decided to drop King James and FoxP2 as its advertising agencies. Cell C had announced in February 2012 that it had appointed FoxP2, King James, Prima Plus and Trigger/Isobar as its ad agencies. King James and FoxP2 were to replace Ogilvy Johannesburg. Ogilvy will now be retaining the Cell C business.

By Herman Manson 25 Apr 2012

Zando rockets into SA ecommerce space

Zando, a new online fashion ecommerce play funded by Germany-based Rocket Internet, launched three months ago and is literally aiming to rocket through the online retail market to be in the same league like services such as and

By Herman Manson 24 Apr 2012

140 BBDO finds new relevance, success

One year on and 140 BBDO, the agency formerly known as Net#work BBDO Cape Town, has found that its identity change and internal organisational behaviour shift is paying dividends. Of the three pitches it undertook in 2011, it won the two in which it was the incumbent and then scored one of the biggest accounts in Cape Town when it bagged the third in Metropolitan.

By Herman Manson 20 Apr 2012

Reputation boost for Ogilvy as ODMA shows success

The Ogilvy Digital Marketing Academy (ODMA), an educational initiative between Ogilvy and lecturer and digital strategist Dave Duarte, has celebrated its first year of contributing to the "geekification of the ad industry," as Duarte had joked it would do when the academy in its current form was first launched in early 2011.

By Herman Manson 18 Apr 2012

Cell C puts new agency decision on review

Cell C has put its new agency appointments, which was formally announced to the media and industry on 10 February 2012, under review. Cell C had announced the appointment of FoxP2, King James, Prima Plus and Trigger/Isobar as its ad agencies.

By Herman Manson 13 Apr 2012

BA's High Life comes to South Africa

High Life, the much applauded inflight magazine of British Airways, is getting a localised edition for BA-operated Comair. The new magazine replaces Horizons - Comair's previous inflight title, published by Media24. The contract was awarded to Omnicom-owned content marketing firm Cedar Communications UK and the first edition appeared 1 April 2012.

By Herman Manson 4 Apr 2012

Live from SA - the youth have their say

Live SA is a new youth publication published out of Cape Town. There's the usual stuff on love, YouTube, following your heart, body piercings, music, freedom and fashion - and then maybe the less usual stuff, about falling out of the closet aged 16, what to do when your countrymen's infamous xenophobia breaks down the lives of friends, of falling in love with gangster boys and having Miss Khayelitsha pose in front of the backend of a construction truck...

By Herman Manson 3 Apr 2012

Jupiter Cape Town's year for living dangerously

Trying to see the upside, Claire Cobbledick, MD of The Jupiter Drawing Room (Cape Town), says the loss of the Woolworths business has presented the agency with an opportunity, and will hopefully allow it to more liberty and freedom in its offering and in how the business is managed. "It's our year for living dangerously," says Cobbledick. She hopes the result will reinvigorate the agency.

By Herman Manson 29 Mar 2012

Mike Barnwell says agency language should change

Mike Barnwell, the recently appointed ECD at Draftfcb Cape Town, wants agency language focused on compartmentalising the communications trade to go. Instead of below-, above- or even through-the-line thinking, he wants his agency to talk about strategically sound solutions instead. [video]

By Herman Manson 27 Mar 2012

Global skill, cultural exchange Toffie Pop Festival's aim

Starting on Friday 30 March and ending Sunday 1 April 2012, the annual Toffie Pop Festival, a festival/conference hybrid that celebrates contemporary popular culture, publishing, design and art, is once again taking place at the Cape Town City Hall.

By Herman Manson 26 Mar 2012

Old friends, young talent at new agency

Young talent from disadvantaged backgrounds, given a hand up and gaining real commercial experience so as to make them attractive in a competitive job market. This is the aim of three old(er) hands in advertising with a new Cape-Town based commercial venture, Old Friends Young Talent (OFyt), that hopes to help transform the ad industry from the bottom up.

By Herman Manson 22 Mar 2012

Creating happiness part of the job at thirtyfour

Often, when speaking to agency MDs and creative directors from many of the traditional flagships of South African advertising, the name of some specialist below-the-line agency would come up, and the conversation, flowing so easily around the currents of industry gossip but moments before, would grind to a halt. "I've never seen any of their work." And I would go, "But you have..."

By Herman Manson 20 Mar 2012

Listen before you jump into social, says Diane Charton

Acceleration Media is an old hand at the digital media game. It was launched as a specialist online media company more than 12 years ago, at a point in time when everybody was talking about the potential of online media but when advertisers were not nearly as invested in the medium as they are today.

By Herman Manson 19 Mar 2012

[Design Indaba 2012] SENSEable cities

Presenting at the 2012 Design Indaba conference, which took place last week at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Carlo Ratti and Assaf Biderman highlighted the role technology and information can play in optimising city planning. speaks to the two about their philosophy behind their approach and the tools used in their research.

By Herman Manson 5 Mar 2012

[Design Indaba 2012] Andrew Shoben on how a 'design capital' should view public art

Andrew Shoben makes art in public spaces. His artists' collective Greyworld has become known for creating artwork in mostly urban spaces that resonates with many rather than an 'arty' few. posed a few questions to this Design Indaba 2012 speaker.

By Herman Manson 2 Mar 2012

[Design Indaba 2012] Clive van Heerden sees the 'far-future' of design

Clive van Heerden is the senior director of Design-Led Innovation at Philips Design. In its simplest terms, Van Heerden and his team researches how sociocultural and technology shifts only just emerging today might shape society and the way we live 10 or 20 years from now. caught up with Van Heerden to ask him a few questions.

By Herman Manson 2 Mar 2012

[Design Indaba 2012] An architect's manifesto

The failures in our urban design were recognised by the two South African architects speaking on the day two of Design Indaba 2012, the annual design conference currently taking place in Cape Town.

By Herman Manson 2 Mar 2012

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