Luca Gallarelli, the group CEO of TBWA\South Africa, a collective of award-winning agencies, that includes TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris, GRID Worldwide, Yellowwood, Magna Carta and Sting Content. Since his appointment in 2019, the group has seen significant growth, industry recognition and he has sought greater cohesion amongst the collective of agencies under his stewardship. Under his leadership, TBWA\SA was named Creative Circle Agency and Creative Circle Group of the Year for four years in a row, and was named Group of the Year, Overall Agency of the Year, Large Agency of the Year (TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris), and Medium Agency of the Year (GRID Worldwide) at the Financial Mail AdFocus Awards in 2022. Gallarelli was personally acknowledged by industry peers as the most admired agency leader by the Marklives Agency Leaders poll. Prior to joining TBWA\South Africa, Gallarelli was Managing Director of Ogilvy Cape Town for four years and Group Managing Director of Ogilvy South Africa for two years. Highlights of his career include the recent MTN rebrand with TBWA\SA, multiple award-winning work for Musica while at the Jupiter Drawing Room, and his decade long association with the Carling Black Label brand. A sports-mad dad, Gallarelli is a passionate and proud product of Gqeberha and the Eastern Cape
With over 23 years in various independent and networked agencies across South Africa, Vicki has worked on and grown some of the most loved brands in the country. She has a deep passion and belief that creativity can impact both brand and worldly issues, with many Gold and Grand Prix Award wins under her belt – from the Loeries Awards to Cannes Lions, One Show, D&AD, Bookmarks, and the SA Effies. She is the first female leader to head up the esteemed Volkswagen Group South Africa account, and the first female Managing Director for Ogilvy Cape Town. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, insistent on creating space for previous minorities to thrive.
With over 30 years of experience in global and local markets, Ana is a highly creative and strategic thinker, renowned in the media industry. Prior to founding her own agency, Mediology, Ana held executive positions at Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann Ericson, and Optimedia. Under her leadership, Mediology has achieved remarkable success, winning numerous awards, including the prestigious 2021 AdFocus - Media Agency of the Year. Ana's expertise in media innovation is well-established, and her dedication to recognising and nurturing talent has contributed significantly to the industry's growth. Additionally, Ana remains actively involved in industry bodies and has served on multiple juries, most recently the AdFocus 2022 jury. Her commitment to social behavioural change communication is evident as she currently serves on the International Steering Committee for the SBCC Summit led by Johns Hopkins Centre for Communication.
Wandile is a discipline-neutral marketing and advertising specialist with over 15 years of experience. Her career started in the qualitative and quantitative research industry. She successfully transitioned from a research specialist to a noteworthy strategist. An interesting breed of thinker and ideas person – she positions herself somewhere between a creative planner, marketer, and researcher. Her philosophy is to approach all opportunities from a rounded, integrated perspective and pursue big ideas with a point of relevance. She has worked for some of the biggest creative agencies in South Africa including Ogilvy JHB, The Jupiter Drawing Room and Wunderman SA As the Chief Strategic Officer of BlackSwan, she currently leads an integrated team of brand strategists and brand creatives on the Telkom Group account. She also leads digital and creative strategists on the recently won Absa account. She has worked on a range of brands including SAA, Mzansi Magic, Mazda, MTN SA, MTN Ghana and MTN Cameroon. Wandile believes in and chases magic relentlessly.
The Integrated Media & Digital Director for Tiger Brands, Sadika has more than 18 years of agency & corporate experience collectively. She is a firm believer in integrated and seamless marketing communications that focus on the consumer. She is captivated by the power of the media & digital and believes it suits her disruptive approach to work. A designated Chartered Marketer through the Marketing Association of South Africa, in 2022, Sadika was appointed Chairman of the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) and continues to serve as Chairperson in 2023. She is exceptionally passionate about mentorship, education and career development and lectured in media & advertising for more than 15 years. Most recently, she was guest lecturer and assessor for the AMASA Media Management for Brand Building at Vega and still continues to mentor students and individuals within the media and advertising industry. Sadika has judged the Loeries, MMA Smarties in 2020 & 2021 and Effies 2022. She is also the Chairperson & Head Juror of the Youth Owned Brands Awards 2022 & 2023.
Merissa is an experienced communications expert, passionate about helping deliver growth for clients. The Henley Business School alumnus has over 19 years of Industry experience and her skill set spans both media and commercial business disciplines. But her true love is strategic thinking and implementation. With a knack for innovative problem solving and a keen understanding of human behaviour, Merissa can manage complex situations and drive and motivate teams to deliver exceptional results. Having held the role of Business Unit Head, CSO and MD at Wavemaker over the past seven years, it is no surprise that the recently appointed CEO of Wavemaker South Africa is focused on driving the agency's strategic vision and growth objectives to ensure business longevity and success, and actively involved in growing the next generation of media talent across the SSA region. Her tenure as CSO saw the agency land impressive pitch wins showcasing her focus on guiding strategic products and ensuring the delivery of ground-breaking, business outcomes-based solutions for clients.
Pepe Marais is the founding partner and Group Chief Creative Officer of brand and communications group Joe Public United. He lives for creativity that deeply connects with people. His passion is to co-create an environment and culture that breed exponential growth. Moved by the obvious gap in our system and a driving need to give back as well as actively grow our country, Pepe established Joe Public’s CSR programme, One School at a Time, in 2004. OSAAT is an organisation with the single-minded vision of creating an educational system that is a shining example to the world. Pepe has been the recipient of numerous local and international industry awards, most recently being inducted into the Loeries Hall of Fame. He has annually served on various judging panels of the Loerie Awards since 2004, has judged at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival twice, has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Creative Circle since 2007 and is currently ranked as the ‘Most Admired Creative Leader’ in Johannesburg. Pepe also sits on the board of SA Day, an initiative that exists to inspire South Africans towards greatness and is the chairperson of the non-profit organization, One School at a Time. According to Pepe accolades are merely the building blocks toward a vision of creating an environment that inspires greatness.
Managing partner and founder of Halo, a fiercely independent creative and design agency, Dean and his agency champion creativity while designing and communicating brands to relevant and strategic markets with one goal in mind, to stand out. A small agency with big thinking. Halo aims to be the most creative small agency in Africa and is privileged to work on fantastic clients including Exclusive Books, Yoco, Capital Hotels, Pineapple Insurance, iStore, Lanseria Airport and Peregrine Capital. The goal is to bring together the best talent and the best clients and allow the freedom and courage to produce work that gets spoken about and that we all love.
Of her 18 years in the ad industry, most have been spent at Ogilvy SA where she served as a Managing Partner as well as Head of Ogilvy Change, their Behavioural Economics division. Prior to this, she was the founder of her own ad agency. Her experience spans across brands and categories globally, regionally, and locally, in the private and public sectors, with a focus on digital transformation. She has an undeniable passion for people, creativity and business and believes that transformation and empowering people are key to running a successful agency. Her achievements include over 65 effectiveness & creativity awards, from Grand Prix Loeries, Cannes, D&AD, Clios, Global Tourism Awards, Assegais, Apex, to a #1 ranking in Account Management (Loeries 2019), amongst others. She has worked American Express, Old Mutual, Gauteng Tourism Authority, BANKSETA, AGRISETA, Abu Dhabi Tourism, Mondelez, P&G, BP, Castrol, BAT, Coca Cola, Nelson Mandela Foundation, Philips, Revlon, and WWF. Firdous was awarded SA’s Woman Leader in 2020 and 2021 by the World Women Leadership Congress.
Nimay is an accomplished marketing and technology executive with a proven track record of success and entrepreneurism. Currently serving as a Director in the Marketing Transformation practice at Accenture Song Africa, Nimay brings over a decade of experience, as the co-founder and CEO of King James Digital and as the Chief Digital Officer of the King James Group. With his vast experience and leadership qualities, Nimay drives digital marketing transformation initiatives at Accenture Song Africa. Leveraging his expertise in digital communication, strategy, and management. Nimay graduated from the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology in New York in 2004. He embarked on his professional journey in the vibrant tech, start-up, and advertising landscape of New York City, where he honed his skills for over 7 years. Nimay has earned numerous accolades over the years, including a Grand Prix at the Loeries in 2014 and the Digital Agency of the Year title in 2014, 2018, and 2021. At the Bookmarks, his talents were further recognized with a Gold Pixel award in 2017 and the Digital Agency of the Year in 2019. Through his unwavering dedication to innovation and a deep understanding of marketing and technology, Nimay continues to drive impactful transformations in the industry. With his diverse skill set and achievements, he remains a driving force in the digital landscape, propelling clients towards growth and success.
Thabang is the CEO of the NAHANA Communications Group. A well-known social activist, social entrepreneur, philanthropist and businessman with a flair for successfully combining capitalist and philanthropic principles. Since joining the NAHANA Communications Group in February 2015, as the MD of FCB Joburg and with no formal marketing and advertising experience, Thabang has led the business to be recognized as the AdFocus Agency of the Year and Large Agency of the year in 2016 and 2017 and Sunday Times Top Brand Agency of the Year in 2016. In June 2020, Thabang was globally recognized as one of the top 100 creative leaders in the world by Adweek. He has used this award to promote his foundation and focus on the NAHANA Group, FCB, his foundation Aluwani and all the people he is able to impact positively. Thabang has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Accounts) from UCT and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard, he is an Edward s. Mason Fellow of Public Policy and Management and an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow.
An advertising and marketing professional with over 16 years of experience in brand strategy, campaign management, project management and retail delivery. With a wealth of transferable skills gained in the retail sector, she is committed to delivering customer service excellence and a reputation for ensuring complete customer satisfaction. She’s proficient in planning and organising any project with a successful track record of managing large-scale projects. Known to be a proactive leader with refined business acumen and exemplary people skills, she has facilitated teams to achieve organisational objectives, increase productivity and enhance employee morale. She has strong knowledge and exposure in handling all big brands in South, East and West Africa, ensuring that campaigns are successfully implemented internationally and across multiple local agencies.