According to Publicis Africa, van der Haar, is the perfect fit for Publicis Africa. The company says that it was looking for an 'innovator' that would have a positive impact on clients' businesses, while taking the agency to the next level.

"We were extremely selective in appointing an MD who shared our vision for transforming the craft and industry, and [we] have found the ideal leader for this in Odette," says Naeem Seedat, CEO of communications at Publicis Africa. 

"[Van der Haar has] a proven track record of driving the industry forward, and we are excited at the excellence that [she] will bring to the team and our clients," Seedat adds.

Van der Haar has most recently holden the position of CEO at JWT Johannesburg. Prior to joining JWT, Odette was the CEO of the Association for Communication and Advertising. She spearheaded the rebirth and growth of the highly coveted APEX Awards.

Van der Haar has an admired reputation for championing transformation, professionalism and gender equality within the industry.

According to Publicis Africa, van der Haar's prior position as a judge on the SABC 3 reality television show, The Next Brand Ambassador, is a testament to her stature in the industry.

She was honoured by her peers with a Legends of APEX Award in 2019, which she received for her contribution in 'elevating and highlighting the importance of effective marketing and communications campaigns'. 

"I am excited to announce my role at Publicis during women's month," says van der Haar. "I hope that the announcement of my appointment will inspire young women everywhere to go out and achieve their goals, no matter how difficult the path to success may seem."

"I consider it a privilege to lead within an agency that has such a forward-thinking model in an era where clients demand more from their investment with agencies," says van Der Haar. Publicis clients currently include L’Oreal, Nestle, Mercedes-Benz and Kellogg's. Van der Haar's appointment will be effective from Sunday, 1 September.

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