According to Wunderman South Africa, with close on 30 years experience, Ascar’s career has been entirely devoted to the media industry spanning radio, television, print, mobile and digital channels.

Wunderman South Africa says her key focus on strategic thinking, product and business development, content creation and communications, as well as her hands-on experience and extensive skillset, extend to all aspects of the media and digital marketing sphere, befitting of her new position.

Ascar says, "Joining the Wunderman South Africa family is an incredible opportunity. I truly believe that, globally, agencies are under pressure to revisit their ways of thinking and servicing clients, and their business models."

"Clients have matured. They have a far better idea of what they’re looking for and have been exposed to different ways of thinking over the years, so the pressure is on to help them embrace digital transformation and build customer experiences that build loyalty and drive retention," adds Ascar.

Having spent the last nine years of her career working alongside clients as an independent media, marketing and content consultant, Ascar says she is equipped to bring a business impact mindset to how clients are serviced.

"There’s a need to expand the perception of what we’re capable of doing. That’s what I hope to bring to Wunderman South Africa," she says.

Haydn Townsend, Wunderman South Africa group CEO, says,"Astrid has an incredible understanding of the ever-changing media and digital marketing landscape, and has a brilliant ability to devise strategies to assist with adapting to such changes."

Ascar began her career as a radio journalist before transitioning to television as a presenter and producer. She co-launched South Africa’s first ever business-dedicated television channel, Summit TV, in the late 1990s (now known as BDTV), and a few years later, The Home Channel.

Other companies that have contributed to her career experience include Naspers, MultiChoice, M-Net, CNBC Africa, DStv and the SABC.

"A lot of my consultancy work included training and running workshops, not just about marketing, crisis communications or media, but also key messaging, media interviews and presentation skills," she adds.

Ascar says she is dedicated to positioning Wunderman SA as a full-service digital partner for clients, one that understands their business challenges and ROI pressures and appreciates what they need to do to ensure growth and sustainability in the business landscape of the future.

"Our work as marketers is no longer just about producing fantastic creative or ads. We have to work closely alongside clients to understand all kinds of marketing tactics and all types of data," adds Ascar.

"Just reporting that data isn’t good enough. We now need to know how to analyse it so that we can share true business insights with our clients," Ascar says.

"There’s a holy grail everyone is working towards and wants to achieve, but it’s impossible to do that without a strategic focus on data, what it reveals and how it relates back to our clients’ various business operations," concludes Ascar.

Ascar is an honours graduate from The University of the Witwatersrand, and also holds an MBA from Henley Management College in the United Kingdom.

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