IAB SA: Message from the CEO

jb_iabJosephine Buys, CEO IAB SA

For many, 2016 was a year of tumultuous change.  For IAB SA, we saw several changes of our own.

Jarred Cinman, the first IAB SA chairperson, stepped down. Three years ago, Jarred was instrumental in the agreement reached with IAB Global to evolve the then Digital Media & Marketing Association into the first IAB on the African continent, one of over 40 chapters worldwide. Jarred has been a source of personal strength and a mentor to me in my onboarding and I will be forever grateful for his guidance and support in navigating this often challenging, always exciting role.


In keeping with our constitutional requirement of having a Publisher and an Agency representative in the chairpersons’ roles, Chris Borain, Group Commercial Director at Mail & Guardian was elected Chair with Paula Hulley, MD Ogilvy@Gloo confirmed as Vice Chair at our AGM in October.  I look forward to working with both of them on many exciting projects in 2017.

Other changes to the executive team at IAB SA were Fred Roed, World Wide Creative, stepping down as IAB SA board member and Head of Agency Council, replaced by Kerry Friend of FCB. Outgoing Head of Measurement Council, Ryan Harris, FNB, oversaw the vote and election of Ryan Smit of Silverstone. My personal thanks go to the outgoing and incoming volunteers in appreciation of their time and expertise.

The year kicked off with our annual IAB Digital Summit which gathered marketers, publishers, advertising executives and technologists together to share insights about the reinvention of media, platforms, creative and business models. The tickets were sold out a fortnight before the event, which illustrates that this has become an essential industry gathering of keynotes, master classes and networking. The event was followed by the renowned Bookmark Awards, which continue to recognise and reward the best in the business. As we look towards 2017, this is once again set to be the premier digital event on the continent on 16th March 2017 at The Galleria in Sandton.

One of the most rewarding initiatives of the year was the launch (at the Summit) of the newly formed Transformation Council. Its objective of building much-needed diversity in digital will ensure that transformation is taking place within the industry via recruitment, staff retention, work environment and career development and giving young South Africans the opportunity to define their own career path in digital. Throughout 2016, we identified several overlaps in the efforts of the Transformation & Education Councils so we took a decision to merge the two Councils and their members to ensure that the voluntary efforts make the most impact. #Bookmarks2017 sees companies vying for the title of Best Contribution to Transformation in the Digital Industry.  We look forward to seeing significant strides in 2017 in the increasingly important activities of the Transformation and Education Council, and their ongoing efforts to increase the talent pool and meet the requirements of the MAC Sector Charter released in April 2016 (click here).

The other eight Councils have also made considerable progress, as reported at our AGM (click here) largely in thanks to an army of industry luminaries who, under the guidance of the dedicated Heads of Councils, give of their time and talent to assist IAB SA in growing a sustainable, vibrant and profitable industry in South Africa. The myriad achievements include tracking trends, setting gold standards, promoting responsible advertising, reporting growth in internet adspend, protecting the reputation of our industry and members, with focused efforts championing a free and fair internet, and better self regulation in the digital media and marketing sectors.

I would like to take this closing opportunity to thank you, all of our members and our many volunteers for your continued and valued support, without which we could not achieve the many accomplishments we have, and will continue to do.

The IAB SA looks forward to another successful year of proactively and collaboratively building knowledge, trust and ultimately spend in digital.

Happy holidays, and best wishes for 2017.