- Aubrey Malden, the former managing director of McCann-Erickson in Scotland, is taking creative command of a black-owned agency being established in South Africa in partnership with Ogilvy & Mather.
The Skotaville Communications Group is a joint venture between Johannesburg's O&M Rightford, the country's largest agency, and a group of black entrepreneurs.
As creative director, Malden will take a stake in the new set-up alongside the other key executives--Dominic Ntsele, the former managing director of Young & Rubicam in Johannesburg, and the writer and publisher Mothobi Mutloatse.
For Malden, whose appointment follows talks with the O&M chairman Robyn Putter, it means a return to the country where he spent six years as a creative director.
"Being a white creative in a black agency won't be difficult," he claimed. "It's no different from taking a job in Brussels. You just have to immerse yourself in the culture and understand the psychology of the African community."
The start-up, which says it is talking to a number of national and international clients, also plans to be a training centre for aspiring black creatives, taking up to 30 at a time on evening courses.
"There are a lot of talented black creatives in South Africa but it's generally difficult for them to break through," Malden said. "We're hoping to involve other agencies in the scheme."
The O&M involvement with Skotaville is the latest in a growing number of partnerships between agency networks and black advertising operations. Earlier this year McCanns set up a joint venture with the Herdbouyz agency.