Ian Mackenzie
Executive Creative Director, FCB/SIX

Across 15 years in the business, first as writer then creative director, Ian has worked at the forefront of digital and creative innovation. During that time, his work has earned more than 100 international awards for creativity and effectiveness, including One Show, D&AD, Clios, Webby Awards and a total of 17 Cannes Lions.

In 2014, he was ranked #1 Copywriter in Canada in Strategy Magazine’s Creative Report Card. Ian was also co-creator and writer of the influential “Our Food. Your Questions.” radical transparency platform for McDonald’s, which started in Canada then rolled out globally.

While at Tribal DDB, Ian was selected to receive direct and formal creative director training from industry legends Keith Reinhard, Amir Kassaei, Bob Scarpelli, Matt Eastwood and Lisa Bennett. As creative leader of the data-driven creative agency FCB/SIX, Ian recently led a project for PFLAG Canada (“Destination Pride”) that went on to become the most awarded Canadian campaign at the 2018 Cannes Lions – and the second most awarded campaign in Canadian history.

Major clients have included Honda, AB/InBev, Cadbury, Taco Bell and BMW.


Ramsey Naja
Chief Creative Officer, J. Walter Thompson Middle East & Africa

A former DJ, theatre director and TV news anchor, Ramsey escaped Lebanon’s civil war to move to the UK in 1985. He collected an MA in Drama from Hull University and joined JWT in 1994, before returning to Beirut in 2001.

Under his stewardship, JWT MENA became one of the region’s most awarded networks and was voted network of the year twice and most effective network in 2014.  He is a member of JWT’s Worldwide Creative Council and a columnist for Campaign ME magazine.

Ami Alush
Vice President Creative Director, Leo Burnett

What started as a mere coincidence when he showed up at McCann for an interview as an offline copywriter and was hired as a digital copywriter, resulted in a prominent career in advertising distinguished by a deep and pioneering knowledge of the digital world that has driven the work of some of the most important clients in Israel, both in the global and local arenas.

Today, 12 years after that interview, Ami is the VP Creative Director at Leo Burnett Israel and one of the most admired and decorated creative minds in Israel, with awards from the Cannes Lions Festival, New York Festival, One Show, Clio, Webby Awards and many more.

Ahmed Tilly
Executive Creative Director, FCB Africa

Ahmed Tilly was born at the Coronationville Hospital in Johannesburg, grew up in Polokwane, studied in Johannesburg, lived in Lenasia EXT 1, moved to Cape Town for 6 years before settling back in Johannesburg.

Tilly has worked at a supermarket at the cigarette counter, at a clothing store called John Craig selling shoes, folded a million t-shirts as a casual at Edgars, did a stint as a switchboard operator and stood outside a pharmacy selling plastic kids sunglasses. Needless to say, his dream to become a pharmacist died a disappointing death. His focus shifted to architecture but he failed miserably at studying science. Realising that this dream too had died, he moved back to his very 1st love… words.

As a copywriter, Tilly worked at agencies like Lindsay Smithers, Publicis, The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town and TBWA/Gavin Reddy. In 2005 he started Black River FC where he created some of the country’s most provocative, most memorable, most audacious, most South African work for brands like Nando’s, MINI, 1st for Women, VUZU AMP and Channel O. In 2016 he joined FCB as Chief Creative Officer, the same year he was recognized as “The Most Admired Creative Boss” by marklives.com

As far as awards go, Ahmed thinks he’s won at pretty much all the major award shows but he’s not sure. See, he has never kept a record of the awards he’s won because he’s never looked at statues as a validation of success.

Alan Edgar
Executive Creative Director, TBWA\

OK, let’s get the credentials things out of the way… I’ve worked everywhere from London to Jo’burg; in Kenya; the length and breadth of Africa and now I’m loving life down here at the beach in Durban. (Oh, this sounds w*nky!) I’ve plied my trade at some of the most awarded shops like Net#work, The Jupiter Drawing Room, Ogilvy and now TBWA, cleverly aligning myself with some brightest minds to rack up a respectable collection of metal for myself along the away – at Cannes, London International, New York Festival, Loeries, Vukas, Echos and Assegais. “So what?” I once overheard a jaded creative once say, “Awards are like hemorrhoids, eventually everybody gets one.” Ha! Maybe.

But that’s not my experience. We’re not making bloody widgets or baking bread; there’s no real formula… so it can be hard. Excruciatingly hard at times. It’s also the most unpredictable, dynamically changing business ever. That’s what makes it so exhilarating and why I feel blessed to be part of this industry, still after all these years. And being invited to judge which, will no doubt, be even better work than what we’ve ever seen before.

So I tip my hat, in advance, to this year’s winners and thank them for their dedication, hard work and back-breaking commitment to making our industry the spellbindingly, crazy biz that it is.

Fran Luckin
Chief Creative Officer, Grey Africa

Fran Luckin is Chief Creative Officer of Grey Africa in Johannesburg. She began her career as a copywriter, moved to TBWA / Hunt Lascaris in the late nineties, where she became a Creative Director, then joined Ogilvy Johannesburg in 2003, and became Executive Creative Director there in 2008. In 2012, Fran was appointed to the 15-member Ogilvy Worldwide Creative Council. 
After 20 years in advertising, Fran went full digital, joining Quirk South Africa (a Mirum agency) as Executive Creative Director of the Johannesburg office in July 2013.

She joined Grey as CCO in 2016. The company won its first Gold Lion in 2017. Together with the executive team, Fran has helped to transform the creative output of the agency from traditional advertising into a fully integrated multi-media, digital and social communications offering. She has judged international and South African creative awards shows (including the Cannes Film Lions, the Cannes Outdoor Lions, the Dubai Lynx Awards, the Clio Awards and D&AD) – and has also served three times on the judging panel for the Apex Awards.

In 2017 she served as Jury President of the Print and Publishing Jury at the Cannes Lions – the first female Jury President from Africa. She has an M.B.A from the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, and is Chairman of the Academic Board of the Red & Yellow School.

Molefi Thulo
Creative Director, Ogilvy

Molefi Thulo, aka Mo, began his career at DraftFCB in the early 2000’s. While there he developed a love for storytelling and incorporating humour into his work. In 2009 he joined Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg where he climbed his way up to creative director. He’s had the privilege of working on a number of accounts such as KFC, Lucozade, Vodacom, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Toyota, DStv and South African Breweries, to mention a few. His work has been awarded both locally and internationally.

Neo Mashigo
Chief Creative Officer, M&C Saatchi Group

Cape Town

From the beginning of his career Neo Mashigo has been passionate about African Creativity and producing Advertising work that is more representative of Africa. He is former Chairman and current board member of The Loerie Awards. He sits on the Executive Committee of the Creative Circle, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting creativity as a business tool.

Before joining M&C Saatchi Group, Neo was Executive Creative Director at two of South Africa’s Creative and largest Advertising Agencies Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg and FCB Johannesburg. With Neo at the helm, he was instrumental in leading both these agencies to the top spots in Creative Ranking Tables.

His efforts in the industry won him the Adfocus’s New Broom for 2012, This award is for leading the movement to transform SA vernacular advertising and attracting young black talent into the industry. Neo is also the Co-Founder of I See A Different You a collective of Soweto born Creatives who sort out to change the world’s view of Africa.

Neo has won several local and International Awards including a Grand Prix at Cannes Festival of Creativity and The Loerie Awards.

Ryan McManus
Chief Creative Officer, VML South Africa
Cape Town

Under Ryan’s creative leadership, VML South Africa has experienced phenomenal growth, and climbed the creative rankings, including being named ‘Entertainment Agency of the Year’ at Cannes 2017, and Bookmarks Agency of the Year twice.

Ryan has been recognized numerous times at Cannes, D&AD, Loeries, One Show, ADC, Effies, NYF and more and brings a wealth of global experience and clear purpose into his work, having travelled and worked across some of the world’s top agencies.Before joining VML, Ryan co-founded jointhepipe.org, an NGO that won Best New Initiative from UNICEF. He also co-founded The Soon Institute, a company focused on prototyping futures within the communication industry.

Ryan has been listed in Mail & Guardians top 200 South Africans, The Media Magazine’s Top 40 under 40, spoken at Cannes Lions, conferences and graduations and had the privilege of judging Cannes YDA, Loeries, Bookmarks, New York Festival, AdPrint and ADC. Ryan also sits on the Creative Circle EXCO of South Africa.

Sbu Sithole
Creative Director & Co-Founder, Odd Number

Sibusiso Sitole is Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director of The Odd Number. With 14 years of experience in the Advertising Industry, Sbu Co-founded The Odd Number in 2015. The Agency has since attracted clients such as BBC Entertainment, Brand South Africa, Nedbank and Wimpy. Since opening shop the agency has also managed to win Creative Circle Ad Of the month, gold Loeries, gold Pendorings and the coveted Umpheta Pendoring award. Sibusiso also judged multiple award ceremonies including, Loeries, Pendorings and APEX awards.

He has also won the Loeries New Voice award 3 years in a row and is a returning APEX judge. The Odd Number went on to win AdFocus agency of the year 2017, and Sbu was nominated most admired Creative Director in Johannesburg, and second most admired Creative Director in South Africa in 2017, nominated by industry peers. The Odd Number currently ranks as the 12th creative agency in South Africa, based on the Loeries rankings 2017.

Xolisa Dyeshana
Chief Creative Officer, Joe Public

Xolisa Dyeshana is Chief Creative Officer and partner at Joe Public. His passion lies in the world of creativity and it’s evident in the many accolades he’s received, both locally and internationally. Xolisa is the former Chairperson of the Creative Circle - the highest decision-making body for advertising creativity in South Africa. He also served as Chairman of The Loerie Awards, South Africa’s premier advertising awards show and he sits on the international board of the One Club.

He has won numerous creative awards from Cannes Lions, D&AD’s and One Shows to Loeries. He opened the 20th annual Design Indaba Conference, along with Pepe Marais, in 2015. Xolisa has also been named one of the Top 6 People To Watch In Advertising by Finweek. He has judged many awards shows around the globe including The Cannes Lions Awards, The One Show Awards, The Bees Digital Awards, The John Caples Direct Awards and much more. He is passionate about creating social change through advertising and he’s been part of many industry committees set up to help young people from underprivileged backgrounds gain access to the industry. Xolisa was one of the creative minds behind the creation of Brothers For Life, one of South Africa’s biggest and most successful behavioural change campaigns.