Industry News

PwC and IAB SA release fourth annual Internet Advertising Revenue Report

PwC and IAB SA recently released the results of the 2016 annual Internet Advertising Revenue Report.  Key outcomes from the report indicate total internet advertising across all forms, devices and platforms increased by 13% to R3.95 billion.

Brought to the industry annually by the IAB SA in collaboration with PwC, the objective of this report is to provide the South African digital industry and advertising market with more accurate insight into digital spend by South Africa’s advertisers.

High-level insight:

Regardless of downturn in the South African economy, the internet advertising market continued to show healthy growth of 13% (almost half a billion rand) in spend from 2015 to 2016 and continues to show exponential growth since 2013 when spend was only R1.3 billion.

A number of trends within various segments of online advertising are emerging. Growth in Online and Mobile Internet spend is underpinned by the shift to mobile internet advertising, with social media gaining most share, whilst paid search internet advertising was up significantly from 2015 by 19%.

 So who are the big spenders?

There has been significant year-on-year movement in terms of industries increasing their stake in digital advertising spend. In 2016 the automotive industry, from not featuring in the top 4 of 2015, catapulted itself into the top spot as the biggest digital advertising spender in South Africa. Comments PwC: “As a result of economic uncertainty and consumers cutting costs, there was a substantial decline in new vehicle sales. To counteract this decline, the industry boosted advertising spend as they promoted discounts and special offers to incentivise sales.”

Retail emerged as the second largest spender (up from 4th in 2015), with Financial Services surprisingly moving to 3rd (from 1st in 2015) and FMCG coming in 4th (from 2nd in 2015).

“This study confirms some things we already knew and others beyond what we anticipated. With return on marketing investment becoming more and more a measured deliverable against marketing spend, it is imperative that advertisers, media planners and buyers are well versed in the trends now and anticipated in the future to deliver on these expectations,” says Gustav Goosen, Head of IAB’s Research Council.

The report is compiled by PwC based on submissions received from South African advertisers (agencies/clients) and alternative media buying channels or platforms (the buy-side), as well as submissions received from local publishers and on-sellers (the sell-side).

“The Digital Adspend Study is extremely important and beneficial to the advertising industry and while we have seen an increase in participation levels on the buy-side, I urge all South African advertising agencies as well as their clients to actively participate in PwC’s calls for submissions to ensure we can provide a more comprehensive report year on year going forward,” concludes Goosen.

IAB members may contact the IAB SA at to obtain a copy of this report or to participate in this year’s PwC adspend survey.


Email Marketing Growing in Importance for SA Brands & Companies


Everlytic, Benchmarks Report Website Image

A new Everlytic report reveals the powerful role of email marketing in SA business

Johannesburg, 26 October:   With all the hype around social media as the new darling of marketing, it turns out that a less sensationalised platform is arguably the real star. According to, email marketing has grown at about 83% worldwide over the past two years, placing it amongst the fastest growing marketing channels, along with video advertising and text messaging.

In addition, research from Radicati Group indicates that there will be more than 4 billion email users worldwide by 2020 – and email traffic will surpass 300 billion emails per day!

Everlytic, an enterprise level marketing cloud solution that enables customers to communicate with their markets via email, mobile and social channels, recently released its Email Marketing Benchmarks Report 2017 to take a targeted look at local email marketing trends. The company analysed over two billion emails, which were all bulk (not transactional) emails sent by SA customers.

“We compiled this benchmark report because there is no other data like this available for email marketing in South Africa,” explains Walter Penfold, MD of Everlytic. “The report that most marketers have relied on in the past is the IBM benchmark report, which groups SA under ‘rest of world’. This doesn’t help us much.”

For marketers operating in a highly competitive, digitised era, email has two major advantages: it is a permission-based platform, and relies on first-party data. Over the next several years, as marketers gain more access to behavioural and demographic data (and the sharing of data across different channels increases), email marketing will enable hyper-personalisation – which will allow for a much more targeted approach to marketing and lead generation.

“Email marketing sits at the epicentre of digital marketing in South Africa,” adds Penfold.  “Over the next five years, we predict that email will remain the top performing messaging channel in terms of ROI and will live up to its promise of being a true, one-to-one digital marketing channel.”

Importantly for brands and marketers, the Everlytic report unveiled key statistics around user behaviour and what this means for future email marketing campaigns. For example, average open rates were sitting at 25.83% – this type of metric shows that the person receiving your email trusts your brand, and finds your subject line enticing and/or relevant. In addition, average Click-Through Rates were pegged at 3.46%, which indicates that your content is relevant and that subscribers want to engage.

Notably, the report found that over 28% of emails are read on mobile phones, underscoring the importance of mobile responsive emails. Finally, it is encouraging that unsubscribe rates sitting below the average of 0.33% indicate that your database shrinkage is within the norm.

“When examining the international and local data, it is clear that email marketing will continue to grow in importance in the local marketing mix,” concludes Penfold. “And with ever increasing access to data, marketers can personalise and fine tune email marketing campaigns – and achieve even higher levels of engagement and ROI.”

Marketing Disruptions 2018 – SA

Book by 30 Nov 2017 and receive 20 % discount off standard delegate price negotiated for you by IAB i.e. pay R3,960 excl vat

Marketing Mix postBryanston Country Club, Sandton 7 Mar & Sports Science Institute, Newlands, Cpt 8 Mar

 A unique briefing which will greatly influence your strategic planning; organised by UCT Unilever Institute and Marketing Mix Conferences.                                                                                  

Reading the signals is critical to business survival.  Technology innovation is dominating, or should be, our business and consumer lives.  This briefing will stimulate your innovative thinking about developing lower cost solutions while protecting profit margins.   We have developed a program of topics  and identified speakers who have consistently proven their ability to read signals and keep one step ahead of their competitors.  Each speaker will identify quick-win opportunities to stimulate your thinking and enhance your ROI.

08h20 – 09h00
Creating a disruptive marketing culture within your business – a model that will lead to greater ROI in an uncertain environment – 6 responses to current forces of change
*  Lowest-denominator strategy. Cost-cutting rather than innovation.
*   AI (Artificial Intelligence) to become the consumer of Big Data.
*   Micro-segmenting brought on by the digital age. Thinning markets require fatter segments.
*  Proliferation of marketing assets. Practical examples on how to think like an “Asset Manager.”
    rather than a “Content Creator”.
*  Smart Centralization. Marketers think that more agencies on their business means more specialists. Actually, the opposite is true, you get fewer pecialists and a poor quality strategic product.
*  Metrics that Matter Most. A new model for KPIs called the 3 fundamentals KPI.
Wayne Bishop, MD, PHD Media (Jhb & Cpt)

09h05 – 09h45
Beyond traditional marketing > using technology and creative interpretation > Creating value for brands
The key focus areas for digital disruption are that it is not a marketing thing, it affects the entire business.
*  Usefulness – There are increased opportunities for brands to create a dialogue that consumers feel is valuable, beyond the price point of the product and service they traditionally communicate.
*  The internet of things – Everything in time will be ‘connected’ allowing us to gain a wider set of intelligence and behavioural data about the consumer. 
*  Beyond marketing – Applying technology internally to drive business efficiencies.
*  The reality of data – The big buzzword that hasn’t yet returned the hype.
Pete Case, National Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy SA (Jhb & Cpt)

09h50 – 10h25
Breakthrough marketing – panel debate
*  Three eminent marketers will comment on key points from the disruptive culture and technology briefings.
Brenda Koorneef, Marketing Strategist (former Marketing Director, Tiger Brands) (Jhb & Cpt)
Andrew Plastow, General Manager, Duracell, A Berkshire Hathaway Company (Jhb & Cpt)

10h25 – 10h45 coffee & networking 

10h45 – 11h20
Increasing brand engagement through behavioural economics
*  The role of emotion in decision-making and brand engagement.
*  Irrationality of consumers Vs rational marketing efforts.
*  Dual system thinking and a new model for brand loyalty.
Sarina de Beer, Ask Afrika (Jhb & Cpt)

 11h25 – 12h05
The Age of the Afripolitan
*  Culture & its evolution and expression in modern behaviour.
*  Community and its manifestation in modern group social behaviour.
*  KasiNomics – economics of the streets, informal money streams.
*  Social stratification – extremes of income, education, housing.
*  The evolution of Language – Soshanguve, an African dialect?  
*  An African Frenzy – the extreme pace of change & adoption of modern in an African way.
GG Alcock, CEO & Author, Minanawe (Jhb & Cpt)

12h10 – 12h45
Social media disruption – live messaging and collaborative social moments – BE PREPARED
Five years after organic social media died and advertising took over, brands still pretend they are building relationships via posting. The data has always disagreed.
*  Users increasingly prefer real-time private messaging to asynchronous public social posting.
*  Brands have to automate so they can hold individual conversations at scale.
*  Chatbot messaging is personalised, conversational and real-time, and is now delivering serious value to brand sales, CRM teams, and their customers.
*  A customer service strategy seeking increased customer engagement and reduced costs has to have a chatbot messaging component.
Godfrey Parkin, CEO, Britefire (Jhb & Cpt)                                                                                                                          

12h45 – 13h35 lunch

13h35 – 14h10
Understanding – Understanding” Comprehend how consumers process information to create more effective communication
* 90/10 principal: How Social Media has changed the game for experiential.
* Talka-what-aby? What’s more important, wagging tongues, or ringing tills?
* Snap out of it: Cool disruptive campaigns that work.
* That warm fuzzy feeling: Unravelling universal human truths to your advantage
Cas Dreijr, MD, BE Salt (Topic confirmed) (Jhb  & Cpt)

14h15 – 14h50
Leveraging data and intelligence to define the target market and product offerings
*  In order to be successful it needs C-suite focus, attention and buy-in.
*  It is about data, and how this informs insights and analytics.
*  It is about your customer – customer centricity is a mind-set, not a digital app.
*  It is a process, not a project.
Richard Mullins, MD, Acceleration (Jhb & Cpt)

14h55 – 15h30
In these tough economic times how should we talk to our consumers to maintain category and brand relevance?
*  How are the economic pressures influencing purchasing behaviour and brand preferences?
*  What are the hidden opportunities and how can we utilise these effectively?
Esti Prinsloo, Consumer Research Director, AC Nielsen (Jhb & Cpt)                                                                        

Conference closes 15h30

Standard delegate rate is R4,950 excl vat
Book by 30 Nov and receive R990 off delegate rate i.e. only pay R3,960 excl vat

Click here to register for JOHANNESBURG 

Click here to register for CAPE TOWN

Enquiries: Sharon Angus-Leppan | T: 021-7908147 | E:

Direct Booking Indaba 2017 – Unpacking tactics that boost revenue


Direct Booking Africa, powered by Guerilla Marking, is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a ground-breaking Direct Booking Indaba 2017 in Cape Town on 25 October 2017 at the Protea Fire & Ice Hotel.

The Direct Booking Indaba 2017 is the 1st event of its kind to be held in South Africa that seeks to enable hoteliers increase direct bookings via their websites and in the process, lower their distribution costs.

“Direct bookings is a very hot topic within the hospitality industry as hotels are seeking ways of reducing their dependence on third parties for bookings. Presently, they are paying huge commissions as high as 25% to online travel agencies (OTAs) and additionally, the OTAs are controlling guest data and thus disempowering hotels from any post-stay engagement,” said Joseph Neusu, Guerilla Marketing’s Business Unit Head.

Adclick, Direct Booking Indaba, pic for post

The event organisers have put together a very strong panel of speakers made up of some of the brightest hospitality marketing minds and revenue specialists in the country. You can view the speakers here.

The agenda for this full-day event is a strategic selection of carefully curated content structured to help hoteliers win the direct bookings battle. With OTAs reportedly spending over $6 billion in ad spend, hotels cannot afford not to attend.

The Direct Booking Indaba 2017 agenda covers the following:

  • The modern travel shoppers’ journey – How consumer behavior has changed
  • Using innovative advertising to drive direct bookings
  • The art & science of a winning hotel website
  • WIFI marketing – How to maximize guest on-stay engagement
  • Effective use of social media in travel marketing
  • Word of mouth in social and online media: The direct booking journey
  • Revenue & Spending – Turning online bookers into big spenders
  • Regaining control over guest relations in hospitality

Additionally, industry leaders from South Africa Tourism, FEDHASA, Department of Tourism and Cape Town Tourism will share priceless insights and policy issues regarding the industry in South Africa.

Who Should attend this amazing conference?

  • Hoteliers
  • General Managers
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Chief Marketing Officers
  • Digital Marketing Managers
  • Social Media Community Managers
  • Marketing Managers
  • Marketing Co-Coordinators
  • Public Relations Managers
  • Business Development Executives
  • Sales Professionals
  • Service Managers
  • Guest Services Managers

“We are so excited to play our part in the growth of the hospitality industry in South Africa as is envisaged in the National Development Programme 2030. This event will enlighten the attendees on how they can effectively boost their revenues by leveraging proven strategies that increase the look to book ratio,” said Velly Bosega, Adclick Africa’s CEO.

Attendees at the event will get a chance to interact with their peers, receive free audits of their digital assets as well as get a copy of the State of the Industry Report: Digital Marketing.



IAB proudly supports the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) with the assistance of Applied Law & Technology (Pty) Ltd, and in collaboration with ourselves and the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) on the launch of the issue paper addressing perspectives on universal free access to online information in South Africa: Free public Wi-Fi and Zero-Rated content.

The purpose of this issue paper is to examine the background and legal frameworks that support a right to universal free access to online information, with a specific focus on the South African context. In particular, this paper will explore two key mechanisms for how universal free access to online information can be achieved – through basic minimum levels of access to free public wi-fi, and through zero-rated content. Click here to access the Issue Paper. Issue Paper – Perspectives on universal free access to online information in South Africa. (FINAL)

Digital analytics and evidence obligations in Cybercrimes Bill problematic for IAB SA members

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development published a revised version of the Cybercrimes and Cyber security Bill. By and large the Bill was a welcomed revision of prior drafts. The Bill’s legacy challenges however, with defining electronic equipment and records, creating overreaching cybercrimes, and providing for broad powers of search and surveillance remain.

The IAB SA submitted comments and recommendations as part of the public call for consultation.

In particular, the IAB SA raised the impractical limitations on the use of digital rights management. The Bill does not recognise the use of digital tracking and analytical software as used legitimately by IABSA members to collect, monitor and analyse data traffic and digital communication channels in connection with marketing and advertising intelligence. With the current wording of the section, such legitimate uses would potentially be classified as unlawful.

Moreover, the Bill places onerous evidence preservation and disclosure obligations on persons in control of computer systems. These include taking down data messages in instances where a charge has been laid and providing information including personal information to law enforcement. Typically, co-operation of this nature is subject to court orders or directives. Excessive powers to receive confidential and personal information held by electronic service providers is a global concern and needs to be avoided in South Africa.

The next step for the Bill is in-person submissions in parliament and then we wait for hopefully a more balanced interpretation of cyber security. The Bill is available at

ICASA’s draft regulations are a positive step to transparency and fairness in data pricing

A positive step to promote digital inclusion of all South Africans.

The IAB South Africa (IAB SA) welcomes the Independent Communications Association of South Africa (ICASA)’s market inquiry into data costs in South Africa as well as proposed amendments to the End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations (Regulations), particularly the extent to which the regulations promote transparency and fairness in data charges.

All drives to reduce data costs not only ensure that our members’ industry sectors continue to thrive and contribute to South Africa’s economy, but also empowers more South Africans to access information, news and educational resources.  Ultimately, we believe that reducing high data costs and costs to communicate in general will ensure that all South Africans enjoy the socio-economic benefits of increased internet usage.

In particular, we welcome the service provider obligations such as:

  • ensuring the end-user can opt-out of out-of-bundle charges when their data bundle is depleted,
  • a duty to refrain from automatically applying out of bundle data charges on an end-user whose data bundle has depleted, and
  • mandatory notifications of data depletion.

Included in the regulations are obligations to ensure minimum duration for data bundles before expiry. 50 megabyte (MB) data bundles should last at least 10 days and 10 gigabyte (GB) data bundles should last at least 12 months.

Overall, the draft regulations do well to bring greater transparency to data charges and promote fairness in the structuring of data bundles. This should allow end users to have better control over their data costs.

The IAB SA looks forward to further consultation with ICASA and other stakeholders to lower data costs in South Africa and ensure the continued growth of the digital industry in our market.


IAB Digital Summit 2017 explores The Power of Digital


On 16 March 2017, the IAB Digital Summit, powered by Accenture Interactive saw top brands, publishers, agencies and creatives gather as SA’s digerati were inspired and entertained by both local and global keynote speakers ready to share insights about the reinvention of media, platforms, creative and business models.

Ferial Hafajee, TBO Touch, Didier Uljasz, Lee Naik and Ryan Smit – amongst many others – tackled topics that included content marketing, fake news, streaming and big data.  These were just a handful of the trend forecasts shared on the day that may change the way businesses engage with the digital space.

As the sun set, the sneakers and sandals were swapped out for suits and sequins as the Summit digerati departed and the Bookmark hopefuls arrived. The IAB Bookmark Awards 2017, an IAB SA initiative, celebrated its ninth year of rewarding excellence in digital and recognising the powerful impact interactive has on the overall marketing mix.  This year Ogilvy was recognised as the best agency, with the KFC brand, one of its clients, recognised as the brand of the year.




Reach thousands of automotive enthusiasts

SPARK Ignition Target has got this market covered

SPARK Ignition Target is SPARK’s programmatic and direct audience solution which, through our Data Management Platform (DMP), has the capability to collect and deliver relevant, customised interest based audiences. This provides advertisers with the opportunity to speak to potential buyers across the Caxton network of premium news and lifestyle focused publisher websites, in a brand safe environment.

Since its inception in 2016, our DMP has collected an audience in excess of 2.9 million people contributing to various interest categories making Spark Ignition Target a valuable channel for large effective reach.

About Audience Spotlight

Every month we will be putting the spotlight on relevant audience clusters by interest group. Clients can then buy these appropriate segments via various options (either directly or programmatically).

What is an interest based audience?

These people are sorted into specific interest categories according to their browsing behaviour across a network of websites. For example, if a user visits automotive focused pages on website(s) within the Caxton network during a rolling 90 day period, that user is pulled into an automotive enthusiast group (also known as an interest based audience).

It enables publishers to;

  1. Offer advertisers the opportunity to advertise to a specific audience with a specific message (banner advertising with an audience target)
  2. Offer advertisers the opportunity to buy this audience and target them with their programmatic buying desks (data buying)
  3. Ensure site content is matching the interests expressed by users

This month the Spotlight is on: THE AUTOMOTIVE ENTHUSIAST

Across SPARK Ignition Target we can reach 372 000 automotive enthusiasts and have 8.8 million impressions available across our network, monthly. We can target 207 600 female and 41 700 male automotive enthusiasts.



  1. DIRECT:
    • Premium, targeted banner advertising at R200 CPM
    • Inventory with automotive audience overlay at R80 CPM
    • Automotive audience data only at R40 CPM

Are you interested in this audience or is there another interest category that you would like to reach?
Contact us on or chat to your sales contact for a custom package (010 492 8385)

Programmatic for dummies


SPARK Media’s programmatic arm – SPARK ignition launched in November. Here are some tips on how to get your programmatic advertising started.

Getting started if you have a buying desk:

ignition SELL. is an ad exchange that enables buyers to buy display and mobile advertising space through preferred deals and private, real-time auctions. Publishers that form part of this offering include the likes of the Citizen, Woman and Home Magazine, Caxton’s Local News Network (+76 local news websites), All4Women and many more premium publishers.

ignition TARGET. is run off an internationally recognised DMP (data management platform). It is a programmatic and direct audience (IO buys) solution providing advertisers with the opportunity to target unique audiences across a network of premium, news and lifestyle focused publisher websites. Advertisers have the option to target audiences based on their browsing behaviour as well as demographic targeting.

Getting started with ignition SELL. and/or TARGET. :

  1. Contact our programmatic team with the following information
    • Target market segments (audiences) and volume requirements
    • Inventory volumes requirements
    • eCPM rate expectations
  2. We will then create preferred deals with your programmatic buying desk and/or add your desk into a private auction
  3. We will inform your buying desk by email/telephone that the deals and auctions have been set-up
  4. Your buying desk will accept and/or negotiate rates and can then start trading and running campaigns

Getting started if you don’t have a buying desk:

In addition to ignition SELL. and TARGET. we offer a programmatic buying service to clients who do not have direct access to programmatic buying desks. ignition BUY. has access to an array of websites and can target users specifically to meet clients’ objectives.

Getting Started with ignition BUY.:

  1. Contact our programmatic team with the following information
    • Target market segments (audiences) and volumes
    • Inventory volumes
  2. We will come back to you with an eCPM or eCPC rate, then you approve rate
  3. We will generate an IO to be signed and approved
  4. You will provide your creative
  5. We will provide you with a tracking pixel to be placed on your landing/conversion page
  6. Once the pixel has been placed and is firing, the campaign will begin

SPARK Media will guide you – we want to make Programmatic advertising easy for you!

Contact for more information