M&C Saatchi Abel has announced the promotions of three individuals that have been crucial to the agency's growth. The promotions are designed to further enhance the creative company's ambitions and bolster the long-term relationships that it shares with its clients.
Effective from Thursday, 1 April, Illé Potgieter steps up from business partner to M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town managing director.
Keke Mahlelebe moves from strategy partner to head of strategy for M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town. Additionally, creative director Mohlalifi Lentsoane becomes joint executive creative director for M&C Saatchi Abel Johannesburg, alongside James Cloete.
"Our partner model is about having the right depth of talent and tenure to ensure we can continue to bring diverse, talented and fresh thinkers into leadership positions and importantly, provide clients with access to senior management on a day-to-day basis," says Jason Harrison, M&C Saatchi Abel's co-founder and group managing director.
"We deeply believe in the philosophy of diversity of thought as a powerful orientation. We work with talented individuals for many years to help unlock their potential and fast track them AND their skills in preparation for this new challenge. Potgieter and Mahlelebe are huge talents and the Cape Town office is in very capable hands," adds Harrison.
M&C Saatchi group chief creative officer Neo Mashigo says, "In Johannesburg, Lentsoane joins Cloete as joint executive creative director because his considered approach to solving the most complicated problems with the power of creativity has been crucial to our successes across clients. He is a gifted creative and, with this promotion, he will have a broader canvas to continue his positive influence."
Potgieter says that shared values have underpinned her growth in the agency. "I've been part of this family for seven years and witnessed immense growth. Often when an agency undergoes so much growth, so quickly, it loses its DNA. This is what I love about M&C Saatchi Abel: our foundational values remain and with them, our DNA remains intact," says Potgieter.
"This is important to me, as values matter immensely. I am excited about the opportunity to lead the Cape Town business and do what I love: grow and mentor diverse talent so that we deliver meaningful work," adds Potgieter.
Mahlelebe says that he is excited to bring authentic and resonant work to more South Africans. "Historically, strategists were obsessed with trying to be more locally relevant to the market. Our focus, and certainly the fuel in my tank, is to be a whole lot more resonant to more South African people," says Mahlelebe.
"Resonance is not what you think, but how you feel. As part of a fresh injection of leadership, I could not be more excited to unlock more Brutal Simplicity of Thought to influence how consumers feel," Mahlelebe adds.
"This, along with the diversely skilled team I will oversee in Cape Town as we work on a portfolio of iconic brands, means the future of M&C Saatchi Abel is bright and I am honoured to be on the front line of this hot, fast-moving family of Partners and friends," Mahlelebe says.
Lentsoane says that his animating force is a commitment to creativity. "Creativity is more than just creating something beautiful. Creativity is about problem-solving to find surprising, exciting, relevant and compelling solutions that resonate with people," says Lentsoane.
"I am incredibly excited to be part of the senior leadership team in this fast-growing, dynamic creative agency," concludes Lentsoane.
For more information, visit www.mcsaatchiabel.co.za. You can also follow M&C Saatchi South Africa on Facebook or on Twitter.