- Government has established a council to regulate the marketing, advertising and communications sector.
- It will develop a sectoral code that will be reviewed every four years, and will help drive transformation.
- But it is also meant to drive “nation-building” via communications, with Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele arguing that foreign cultures have been influencing SA unduly through advertising.
Government has established a council to regulate practices in the marketing, advertising and communications sector – and to ensure that these industries are adequately transformed, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele has said.
Apart from monitoring diversity, the council will also ensure the country’s communications sector plays a role in “nation-building”, the minister said.
Gungubele was speaking at the launch of the government’s Marketing, Advertising and Communications sector charter council (Mac SA) in Pretoria on Friday afternoon. The Mac SA seeks to monitor industry practices and ensure transformation and diversity in these sectors.
The council was established with contributions from the Department of Trade Industry and Competition, Government Communications and Information Systems (GCIS), the Presidency, and the Black Economic Empowerment Commission.
The newly launched council will develop a sectoral code for the marketing, advertising, and communications sectors and submit this to the Minister in the Presidency by January next year. From that point, the code will be reviewed every four years.
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‘No values, no identity, no future’
Gungubele said the establishment of the Mac SA council was a critical part of South Africa using communications to achieve nation-building and that the sector responsible for this had to reflect the country’s diversity.
“Nations are strengthened and stay resilient because of a particular identity and culture. Because apartheid controlled us and our culture, after 1994, we just rejected anything that made us a part of a collective.
“But a nation with no values system has no identity and no future,” said Gungubele.
Gungubele said cultures of other countries are finding expression in South Africa as a result of the power of marketing, advertising, and communications and because other countries invest in their power to culturally influence others.
“This is a sector that connects South Africans and the rest of the global communities. It draws on our creative abilities to define who and what we are. But it also can and must help us overcome persistent challenges in our society and economy.
“We come from a past where advertising told the story of a divided society. The producers of products and services were following the money, which was concentrated among white consumers,” Gungubele said.
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Gungubele said the council must also look into the growing trend of tech giants like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google eating into the traditional and online advertising revenue of local companies.
“The council must conduct a review of the sector code. This must be done by January of 2023 and submitted to the Minister in the Presidency. Bringing regulatory certainty and ensure inclusion,” said Gungubele.
He said the work of the council will be to ensure inclusivity and transformation in the sectors. Council members must be qualified and have expertise in the sector and represent the broad diversity of the nation and be committed to the advancement of B-BBEE, Gungubele said.
The 25 member council includes members from academia, the regulatory space, youth, public relations, communications, outdoor media, and interactive marketing. The council set aside four seats for members of the youth in the sectors.