Transformation in advertising: don’t hold your breath

This article was first published on financialmail.co.za

DELAYS continue to plague the advertising industry’s transformation charter several months after it was due to be implemented.

Nkwenkwe Nkomo, chairman of the marketing, advertising & communication (MAC) transformation charter, says representatives of industry, the department of trade & industry and the government communication & information system have completed a final draft of the charter. It will be submitted to parliament for comment before the end of the year.

But based on past experience, its passage may not be smooth. The MAC charter remains the only remaining sector charter still to be officially enacted. It was first gazetted in August 2008 under section 12 of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act. However, lack of industry consensus, mainly on the setting of transformation targets, resulted in a series of delays. In 2012, there was a new problem: government failed to appoint enough people to oversee the process.

Early this year Nkomo said this had been resolved and the charter would become a section 9 code by June. He spoke too soon, and further delays in government have continued to stymie the process. Now he believes things really are ready to progress. “We are at the stage where these (government) issues are being sorted out. I think we have a solution.”

However, he is not confident enough to commit to a timetable for the code to be enacted, especially as revised BBBEE codes recently came into effect. Once the latest MAC discussions are over, “we will have a year to harmonise our codes with revised codes”, he says.

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