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CONFERENCE: 4 Top Admen to Address Local Branding Conference


Recent Gauteng Business News

Four top admen have signed up as speakers at Brands and Branding for Good 2, a conference taking place in South Africa during October.

Joining an impressive line-up of international and local thought leaders on the podium will be:
• Mike Schalit, Chief Creative Director, Net#work BBDO South Africa, and Co-founder of the MAL Foundation
• Mike Freedman, Founder of Freedthinkers
• Paul Bannister, Managing Director, Ignite, and who also was the acting CEO of the International Marketing Council of SA during the crucial build-up to the hosting of the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup
• Deon Robbertze, Executive Creative Director of Zoom and Creative Director Ogilvy Earth at Zoom Advertising, South Africa

Conference convenor, Ken Preston, elaborated “The local advertising industry is held in high regard throughout the world for its creativity and strategic thinking, but in fact the four admen who have agreed to speak are also recognised, both locally and abroad, as committed thinkers and leaders in sustainability.

“They lead by example, not only in their daily industry jobs but also when demonstrating their value systems and philosophies in action. Paul is currently in Haiti assisting with communication strategies following the devastating earthquakes, and Deon recently returned from the Arctic where he witnessed firsthand the impact of climate change.

“Delegates are certain to learn a great deal from all four speakers, each of whom have practical case studies to share. For example, Robbertze has worked on projects for UNEP in Cape Town and, at COP15 in Copenhagen, helped launched South Africa’s first sustainable wine in PET bottles for Backsberg wines.

“He and his team at Zoom also created a carbon offset initiative for tourists to South Africa ( and Deon helped publish The Conscious Brand, a book about sustainability and the way brands interact with society,” said Preston.

Robbertze believes that sustainability is the only way forward and that the power of sustainable ideas will change the way we think, consume and live. “A sustainable planet for 6-billion people is not sustainable for 9-billion people. We have to start thinking long-term. Manufacturing, marketing and advertising previously only thought about sales, growth and market share. There has to be a dramatic mind shift towards sustainability and the huge opportunities there in,” he said.

Mike Freedman has titled his presentation ‘Soulbrands of the 21st Century’. From why toads cross the road to how a pig graced the annual report of an ice-cream company, Mike will take you on an unusual journey that highlights the biggest challenges and opportunities facing brands in this time of profound change.

“The 21st Century has ushered in twin spectres of financial and environmental meltdown – brand-owners who think it’s business as usual with 1% of profits going to corporate social investment will face increasingly painful reality checks. Business models, even businesses themselves, need to change,” he said.

Preston concluded: “It is a time of upheaval, with brands and industries that are slow to adapt inviting lingering deaths. Branding for Good 2 addresses relevant and critically important matters with regards to sustainable practices and branding and offers an unrivalled opportunity for local business to plug into a world of global insights, local and international case-studies, panel discussions and presentations over either one or two days.

“If you are involved in branding, communications, public relations, marketing, advertising, CSR, sustainability, external affairs, business development, consumer insights and image management, you can’t afford to miss this.”

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