Jury President

Nicolas Courant
Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather

First Europe then EMEA and now Asia: Nicolas is sharing his creative talent across the world. He started in his native France as a copywriter working on major accounts including Air France, La Société Générale, Pfizer and Seat. It wasn’t long before he was ranked amongst the best French copywriters by CB News. Then Ogilvy beckoned.

Nicolas joined Memac Ogilvy as Creative Director to set up the agency in Tunis, founding OgilvyOne in 2009, OgilvyAction in 2010 and OgilvyPR in 2011, and driving Memac Ogilvy Tunis to the top three most awarded MEA agencies and the top 10 EMEA agencies in 2012. He was appointed to head the newly created Memac Ogilvy MENA Regional Creative Council in 2012.

In his current position, Nicolas has been involved in award-winning creative work for Unilever, Allianz, Coca-Cola and Philips. He adds this recognition to a host of awards from every major international contest in categories that range from film and digital to mobile and direct. His work has also featured on TED’s Ads Worth Spreading.

Sinmisola Hughes-Obisesan
Creative Director, Leo Burnett

Sinmisola Hughes-Obisesan, the first of her name, the slayer of briefs, the all round Wonder Woman, Creative Director Leo Burnett Lagos, warden of Humankind (TM) and transformer of human behavior. '

Sinmi' is an award-winning Creative Director with 13+ years advertising experience on brands pan Africa. Last year she lead her previous agency to win West Africa's first ever EPICA and a WARC global award in 2016, in addition to also winning numerous Africa Crystal awards in her advertising career.

Having served on several judging panels before in Nigeria, she is currently advertising's only female Creative Director and the second ever in the country's entire history. Nominated this year by Marketing Edge magazine for Outstanding Creative Director, Sinmi is very passionate about creativity that puts people and purpose first. 

Svetlana Polikarpova
Digital Transformation Specialist, Right Here

Svetlana has over 7 years’ experience in digital marketing field having worked as a regional brand manager for Sony Electronics in South East Asia, Middle East and Africa for 4 years and over 2 years in WPP-Scangroup as a digital marketing director, she recently started independent consultancy career in Nairobi.

In her past two years in Kenya Svetlana has managed the marketing strategies for some of Kenya’s largest brands including: KCB, Barclays, NIC, SportPesa, Britam, UAP Old Mutual and Sony.

She has also been fortunate to have won both local and international awards for the campaigns she has run capturing 2 golds at the MSK, finalist at Loeries and a silver at Dubai Lynx Svetlana brings practical experience and understanding of the core mechanics of running and executing digital campaigns that drive both reputational and business gains for her clients.

She is currently launching her own automated influencer and content marketing platform, Tandem Network.

Agisanang Masekela
Creative Director, Ogilvy JHB

Not much is known about Agi. Some say - after a stint freelancing, lecturing and creating apps in his spare time – he decided to go full force into the world they call advertising. In his short time in the industry, he has had the privilege of working on brands such as MultiChoice, Vodacom, FNB, MTV, BET, BMW, SAT & Castle Lite to name a few.

 He has been the recipient of numerous awards at various ceremonies such as the Loeries, Cannes Lions, One Show, D&AD , Assegais and Bookmarks. A deep lover of all things digital – you can always find him trying to stretch the boundaries of storytelling with unconventional mediums. Never afraid to laugh.

Gareth McPherson
Group Executive Creative Director, Publicis Machine
Cape Town

Gareth has the pleasure of leading the creativity of Publicis Machine South Africa, a 250-people strong integrated agency and home to some of the world’s best brands.

As a company born out of digital, he and the leadership team catapulted the young agency to be a force in the industry, winning ‘break-through-agency of the year’, being recognised as National Agency ‘one-to-watch’, ranking in the top 10 creative agencies in South Africa, and most recently being placed in the top 8 EMA agencies at Cannes. 

Over his 17 year career, Gareth has produced many iconic campaigns for a multitude of blue-chip clients. His work has been awarded at both local and international award shows. He has chaired and judged at various creative festivals and is a member of the IAB, Creative Circle, Publicis Worldwide Creative Board and leads the Publicis Groupe South Africa Creative Council.

Passionate about the development of talent across the continent, he contributes to the Red & Yellow Springboard Leadership Programme and the Vega School Advisory Council where he inputs on course curriculum and skills development. Having one ‘work' foot in Johannesburg and the other in Cape Town, Gareth calls the beautiful city of Cape Town home, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

Jacquie Mullany
Creative Director, VML South Africa

Jacquie is a writer of words, lover of ideas, and always brave. She began her journey as an Art Director, has done some coding, then fell into copywriting as she moved her way to TTL.

She has now made herself at home as Creative Director at VML South Africa.

Joey Khuvutlu
Managing Director, HelloComputer

Joey is a creative industry entrepreneur and a believer in the power of design thinking and collaboration to affect positive change in society and business. With over 13 years of experience in brand design & brand technology, Joey has successfully founded and led three boutique agencies.

In 2017 Joey joined Hellocomputer as managing director of the Johannesburg office after the acquisition of his agency, Threefold Creative — a digital production agency that developed award winning experiential and marketing technology for brands such as KFC as well as digital platforms for international organizations such as Virgin Unite, the African Leadership Institute and the 2014 C40 Cities Summit.

Kabelo Moshapalo
Executive Creative Director, TBWA\

Kabelo’s role in the development of creative digital solutions has been widely recognised throughout South Africa. In 2015, Kabelo was featured in Destiny Man magazine’s Power of 40 List, which celebrates extraordinary men from all over South Africa under the age of 40. He was one of the 2003 judges of the Loeries Awards in the new emerging discipline category – an honour repeated in 2004, and from 2007 to 2014. In 2015, he set on two different panels of the Loeries Awards, namely Non-English Radio and Communication Design. He’s also adjudicated the Apex Awards, where judges are tasked with appraising both creativity and effectiveness, measuring actual marketing campaign results.

Driving creative excellence on the continent, Kabelo was appointed to the judging panel of the inaugural advertising and communications awards launched by Botswana's Association of Communication Agencies (ACA) in 2013. The same year he also sat on the judging panel of the IAB South Africa Bookmarks awards, a show that celebrates digital marketing excellence - an honour repeated in 2016 and 2017. In continuing to celebrate excellence in all things digital, Kabelo was appointed as a jury member on the CLIO awards 2016 Digital, Mobile, Social & Digital Technique judging panel.  

In 2017 Kabelo made a return to the Digital & Interactive Communication and Digital Craft Loeries Awards panel. He’s also adjudicated the Lisbon International Advertising Festival, appraising branded content works across categories; TV, Digital, Games, Promo, Activation and Creative Effectiveness.

Kerry Friend
Executive Creative Director, Independent 

With eighteen years experience in advertising as copywriter then Creative Director and Exec Creative Director, I have developed camapigns for a few of South Africa's high profile advertising agencies. I include producing design sprints and hackathons for ad agencies, blue chip clients, the Wits Digital Innovation Hub and government.


As Creative Producer I have designed workshops for cultural institutions to explore new ways of creating interactive musical experiences. and producing. Writinf mf experience spans copywriting for multi-platform campaigns, to long format and have recently contributed to a book, "Creative Superpowers - The Modern Skillset for Creative Problem Solving".

Matt Ross
Chief Creative Officer, King James Digital
Cape Town

Matt's love of original, ground-breaking ideas and technologies have taken him across the globe to create multi-award winning campaigns and products.

Currently, he is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of King James Digital. The Group has been ranked in the Top 10 Independent Agencies in the World, Agency Of The Year in Africa and #1 Creative Agency at the Loeries on multiple occasions.

He has been named as one of Advertising Age’s Creativity 50, the annual global list of the most influential and inspiring creative personalities and has won numerous awards including gold at Cannes, Clios, One Show and D&AD.

Prior to returning to South Africa, Matt spent 15 years working in London and New York, where he was the Group Executive Creative Director of DDB UK. In his tenure, the DDB Group topped the Gunn Report and Tribal DDB were the #1 ranked digital agency by the IAB. Before that he worked at TBWA, AQKA and JWT, as well as founded and sold his first agency, Dean & Dickinson.

His last minute on earth would be spent on a Glen D'Arcy 6,2" surfboard getting barrelled whilst watching 'The Big Short' with his three ladies, reading Kingsley Amis's 'Lucky Jim' and swilling a Grimbergen with Christopher Nolan and Trent Reznor.

Veli Ngubane
Chief Creative Officer, Avatar

A strategist turned creative, Veli has not only co-founded Avatar, but also inspired a new agency offering, YGK, and is part of an exciting new holding company, M&N Brands, which is building an African network of agencies to rival the global giants. Veli serves as Advisory Board Chairman at the Red & Yellow School, sits on the IAB’s Transformation & Education Council, is a DMA Board Member and has judged the Loeries, Apex and AdFocus Awards.

He was also named in this year’s Mail & Guardian Top 200 South Africans. Veli holds a BSocSci (Politics, Economics & Law) from UCT and a postgraduate Marketing & Advertising diploma from the Red & Yellow School. A born entrepreneur taking advantage of the two very economies he was exposed to, Veli is also a brand man (his experience includes BMW, Apple and Investec), deeply committed to disrupting and challenging the advertising industry, “Just being black is not enough; we need black- owned and managed agencies to be world class.”

Constantly learning, constantly innovating, 34-year-old Veli has also learnt the pitfalls of success, “I have learnt that one must define what success means to oneself, as there is a great danger with conforming to the one society creates.”