Industry News

Update on Protection of Personal Information (‘POPI’) Act

On Friday, 08 September 2017, the Information Regulator published draft regulations in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act (‘POPI’). They have very important and have significant implications for direct marketers.

Currently, South African law allows marketers to approach customers via electronic communication to market their goods and services as long as customers are given the opportunity to unsubscribe. When POPI comes into effect (best guess that will be sometime early in next year after which marketers will have a year to become compliant) that will change.

When approaching a customer who has not received direct marketing before the customer must first be approached to obtain their consent. The Information Regulator was given the power to determine what this consent would look like which it has now done. You can find it here:

The prescribed consent is concerning for several reasons. It is two pages long, in legalese and requires a signature. Even though it is supposed to apply to electronic marketing, it seems that the Regulator failed to take digital marketing into account. Luckily, the regulations are still in draft form and we have until 7 November 2017 to comment. The IAB will comment, but this is one of those times when the more voices are heard, the better.


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



SPARK Media has officially launched its Programmatic advertising offering entitled SPARK ignition BUY. SELL. TARGET.

ignition SELL. is a private market place (PMP) tool incorporating premium South African websites that are part of, or affiliated to, the Caxton CTP Group of Publishers.

This PMP is unique to the South African digital advertising market not only because it has access to inventory that is hyper-local (owing to the local newspaper websites), but it also has access to inventory that covers a broad range of interests such as breaking news, female lifestyle interests, sports, business and many more.

“This is a very important step taken by SPARK Media in allowing advertisers to target relevant audience segments across our Group’s sites as an alternative to buying site specific impressions,” says Marc du Plessis, SPARK Media’s Joint CEO.

“We know that more advertisers are starting to allocate increasing budgets to Programmatic advertising buys, but often are not certain of the quality of the inventory they’re buying, or where their brand actually ends up.  This is where a PMP comes in, eliminating transparency and brand safety issues.”

“While we’re very excited about the prospects of ignition SELL. we’re still firm in the belief that a true and transparent South African market place should exist for South African publishers.  Something we would most certainly support and become a part of,” added du Plessis.

SPARK Media believes that the success of programmatic advertising relies heavily on the ability to target the right audience, with the right message in the right place.

Inventory bought through ignition SELL. can be overlaid with audience data layers improving the quality of inventory to buyers, further enhancing and improving the user experience and performance metrics. In simple terms we can target the right person with the right message on the right website.

ignition SELL is the perfect one-stop online display and mobile shop for clients who want to buy advertising space through premium direct (IO buys), preferred deals or private auctions. Reaching 6.1 million unique browsers, 31 million page views (Effective Measure: October 2016) and over 50 million ad impressions every month.

Publishers that form part of this offering include The Citizen, Woman and Home magazine, Caxton’s Local News Network (LNN) (+76 local news websites), All4Women and many more premium publishers.

ignition TARGET. is an offering 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.

For more information about our ignition BUY. SELL or TARGET offerings please send an email to Ashleigh Footit on or call us on 010 492 8390



BlueMagnet’s Digital Marketing Training Academy announces nominees for top achievers in digital marketing and search engine optimisation, to be recognised at the first ever Digital Academy Awards Ceremony to be held next month.

Celebrating a decade in digital empowerment BlueMagnet will be hosting the first ever awards in South Africa, established to recognise, applaud and celebrate individuals who have excelled

across various digital marketing programmes at an exclusive ceremony to be held in Sandton on 24th August 2017.

Gillian Meier, CEO and founder of BlueMagnet comments: “The digital industry continuously recognises innovative agencies and brands at a number of prestigious awards; however we felt that it was time to showcase the intellects behind these successful campaigns and brands. These individuals have invested considerable time and effort into acquiring the skills to support these brands’ successes.”

BlueMagnet’s training programmes are widely attended by practitioners from more than 50 of South Africa’s top digital agencies and hundreds of brands. “Without the backing of solid foundational skills, the industry would not flourish at the pace it has been. We want to recognise and reward those individuals who are committed to driving the digital industry forward through continued professional development; as well as the companies who consistently invest in upskilling their employees with the latest in digital marketing trends.” Says Ceri James, CIO and Partner at BlueMagnet.

The awards ceremony will be a cumulative evening of digital minds coming together to honor 127 professionals who have achieved outstanding results in the following categories over the past 3 years:

  • The Digital Marketing Institute’s International Digital Marketing Professional Certification;
  • Search Engine Optimisation Professional Certification endorsed by SEOPSA;
  • Practical demonstration for delivering a Digital Marketing Strategy;
  • Recognition for perfect scores in the digital marketing strategy, planning, SEO, PPC, Display, Mobile, Social Media and Analytics courses;
  • Overall top Digital Marketing Professional; and
  • Overall to top Search Engine Optimisation Professional.

BlueMagnet has been a certified training partner to the Digital Marketing Institute (the global standard in digital marketing education) since 2012, and has been delivering SEO training of the highest and most ethical standards expected under the SEOPSA (Association for Search Engine Optimisation Professionals in South Africa) code of conduct since 2007. Over the past 10 years, BlueMagnet has empowered over 4,000 individuals across South Africa, as well as students from other parts of Africa, with the highest standard of digital marketing skills.

In the words of Nelson Mandela; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This is a gift that we want to continue to bestow upon aspiring and passionate digital marketers in our country.  In continued efforts to empower and strengthen the professional scope and digital skills available in the market, BlueMagnet will be giving away R1 million in bursaries to the top achievers to continue their personal development in the digital marketing field, by participating in an elite Digital Marketing Masters Programme designed to establish a pilot benchmark for Digital Marketing Professional designations in South Africa. The programme will be the most comprehensive amalgamation of rigorous practical and theoretical learning outcomes across all digital channels to produce the “Best of Breed” digital practitioners, who will drive digital forward in South Africa under the most stringent guidelines and standards.

On the back of its 10 year anniversary, BlueMagnet wants thank those individuals and organisations that have chosen BlueMagnet as their preferred knowledge partner. It’s been said that: “Achievement is the source of (an) additional greatness to come. It is the constant stimuli to purpose”. So how can we not strive to grant credit where it is due.

All information regarding the academy awards will be communicated on our site  To find out more about BlueMagnet, please go to our site

MEET PAULA HULLEY – Head of Digital & Innovation for Ogilvy CT


The IAB talks to Paula Hulley in a series of interviews with our nine Heads of Councils.

Who are you?

I am the Head of Digital & Innovation for Ogilvy CT, Vice Chair and Head of the Agency Council at the IAB. Passionate about achieving the impossible with amazing teams and creating connected experiences that innovate with brands & consumers in a meaningful and remarkable way. Proud Mom to Céline Fantastic and grateful to an incredible support network that partner with me to do what I love every day.

Find me on LinkedIn
Find me on Twitter

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Call for applications for the JAMLAB

JAMLABUp to six teams will get free working space, mentors and coaches, regular talks from industry experts, a lean start up programme to help teams develop their innovations and opportunities to pitch their ventures to donors and investors.

You can read about it on medium here or follow us on twitter @jamlabafrica or on Facebook @jamlabafrica

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