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Johannesburg, 20 September 2023 – M+N, home of leading creative agency, Avatar, is thrilled to announce significant leadership changes that will drive the company’s continued growth and creative excellence. Accomplished creative and entrepreneur, Philip Ireland, has joined Avatar as Chief Creative Officer for the group while Veli Ngubane, formerly the Chief Creative Officer, has assumed the role of Chief Growth Officer, overseeing South Africa and other African markets.

Ngubane, a visionary creative strategist with a remarkable track record in the advertising and marketing industry, has been a pivotal figure at Avatar for over a decade. As Chief Creative Officer, he played a vital role in shaping the agency’s creative direction and has been instrumental in delivering innovative solutions for clients across various industries in multiple markets, including as Tecno’s global brand agency that saw the group roll out its ‘Stop at Nothing’ campaign in several countries in South America, Africa, Central Europe and Asia.

In his new role as Chief Growth Officer, Veli Ngubane will leverage his extensive experience and expertise to manage and coordinate growth amongst the growing group of agencies within M+N. He will drive Avatar’s expansion efforts in both the African and international markets. With a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities in these regions, Veli is well-positioned to spearhead the company’s global growth strategy and further cement Avatar’s presence on the international stage.

“I’m excited to take on this new role and lead Avatar’s growth initiatives into new territories,” says Ngubane. “We have a talented team and a passion for creativity that knows no bounds. I look forward to leveraging our collective strengths to deliver exceptional results for our clients and propel Avatar in realising its mission: to be respected globally and preferred locally in the markets we operate in.”

Philip Ireland, an international award-winning creative known for his creative prowess and entrepreneurial spirit, will step into the role of Chief Creative Officer for the group. Philip brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of producing award-winning campaigns that resonate with audiences globally.

As Chief Creative Officer, Philip Ireland will be responsible for setting the creative vision and direction for the group, ensuring that it continues to deliver innovative and impactful solutions to clients. His appointment reflects Avatar’s commitment to pushing creative boundaries and maintaining its position as a frontrunner in the industry.

“I’m honoured to be entrusted with the role of Chief Creative Officer at Avatar as I know I am coming into something special,” enthuses Ireland. “M+N, and Avatar in particular, has a rich history of creative excellence and I’m eager to build on that legacy by leading, building and nurturing creative talents to even greater heights. Together, we will continue to innovate and deliver outstanding creative work that moves people.”

M+N Chairman, Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, expressed confidence in both Ngubane and Ireland, emphasising the company’s commitment to growth and creativity.

“These leadership changes represent an exciting chapter in our journey. Philip’s creative brilliance and entrepreneurial mindset make him the perfect choice to lead our creative team into the future. At the same time, as a co-founder, Veli has been instrumental in shaping our creative vision, and I have no doubt that he will excel in his new role as Chief Growth Officer.”


New MD appointment at Avatar

Lynda Fiebiger, a dynamic addition to Avatar, joins forces with Mzamo Xala, Avatar’s GCEO, as the newly appointed managing director tasked with fortifying the agency’s Johannesburg office. Formerly, she held a leadership role at FoxP2 (now Dentsu Creative South Africa) as MD.

With a wealth of industry experience, she has left an indelible mark at some of South Africa’s most esteemed creative agencies, fostering invaluable client relationships across diverse sectors.

The group is poised to embark on this new chapter with enthusiasm, innovation, and a commitment to delivering unparalleled value to its clients. The company remains steadfast in its mission to reimagine growth for its clients and transform businesses through creative excellence.


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