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THE MEDIA SEP 2018 e-book

MEDIA AGENCY LEGEND Africa is her beat Leaders able to navigate the increasingly complex terrain that is the media agency environment in 2018, with healthy dollops of foresight and fortitude, as well as grace under pressure, are leaders of which legends are made, writes GLENDA NEVILL. Meet Celia Collins, managing director of Carat Johannesburg and the MOST Awards Media Agency Legend of 2018. She played a significant role in the Carat team that landed the much-contested Absa account, a factor that came into play when MOST judges met to discuss the nominees. When Absa separated from British-owned Barclays PLC in June 2017, and Barclays Africa Group reverted to using the Absa name, it heralded a massive media agency review. With over 20 agencies invited to pitch, it was never going to be an easy ride. The winning agency would be tasked with managing media planning and buying for clients in 10 African countries. “Carat had in its arsenal someone with extensive knowledge of Africa and the agency environment, as well as a self-proclaimed ‘pasion’ for the continent.” The banking group was looking for a data-driven agency, strong on insights (research) coupled with digital and strategic skill sets. Carat, a subsidiary of the Dentsu Aegis Network, had the required pedigree. It also had in its arsenal someone with extensive knowledge of Africa and the agency environment, as well as a self-proclaimed “passion” for the continent. Collins, when she joined Starcom as media manager for Africa, set up 37 offices across the continent. She won the PAMRO Achiever Award for her continued support of research, and has been a member of its harmonisation committee since 2005. Africa is her beat, so to speak. “Our group has been future-proofing for 2020 and digital disruption – and that’s how we got the pitch. We are the disruptors in the industry – we made sure we got the specialists; our affiliates in Africa go through rigorous on-board processes and auditing. We let them go if not – we either buy them out, or start a new agency in an African country. In the past year or so we started up quite a few new agencies, and have a strong presence in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon, Zambia and Mozambique – and we’re looking to buy four more this year,” Collins explains. Celia Collins The Media | wagthedog.co.za P 29


THE MEDIA SEP 2018 e-book
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