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Herman Manson

Editor & Publisher and

Herman Manson

Herman Manson

30 October . 3 min read . Opinion

(Credit: JC Decaux Africa)

Making a mark

“Mark” as a name has obvious links to marketing: making your mark, brand marks, trademarks etc. It also puts a human name as the focus for our brand identity, a reminder of the kind of journalism that we prefer to publish.

As other publishers divest from journalistic content, we’ve gone the other way, investing heavily in traditional journalism and its processes. This allows us to tell the stories of the broader marketing and advertising industry honestly and transparently.

MarkLives is a place where you read about the newest account wins, appointments and acquisitions. It’s where you find information about each new wave (yes, we’ve been around long enough to have covered several of these) of entrepreneurial agencies and creative talent, as well as what’s happening in the market. It’s an essential resource and a key part of the industry’s infrastructure.

Media owner engagement

Because it’s such a valuable resource for marketers, agencies have traditionally been the primary commercial sponsors of MarkLives. However, because of the interest from agencies, media owners have been booking ad space with us as well.

MarkLives has long enjoyed engagement among those active in OOH and dOOH — publishing news from the industry and offering OOH execs insights into trends in the medium marketing and advertising world, and how they affect OOH. For opportunities to contribute to our wide range of industry topics, we suggest OOH execs sign up to our editorial diary (it’s free). This will offer you an overview of the features in upcoming editions for which we are seeking comment and opinion.

Connecting agencies & suppliers, including media owners

Launched in 2016, MarkLives’s industry directory connects marketers to agencies, and agencies to service providers and suppliers. Currently, we list over 600+ agencies and 200+ industry suppliers, including suppliers in the outdoor space. The database service is free of charge and free to use, and OOH owners are welcome to create a free profile to promote their services. We also offer a premium, paid-for press office add-on functionality that allows you to publish content to their profile and to MarkLives and its audience.

Marketers may create shortlists, compare companies, and find people they want to work with. The service also extends to service providers, suppliers for agencies and brand partners, allowing ad agency execs to find project partners, based upon skill sets, to expand project capacity or to find media solutions. has been built on the belief that agencies and their suppliers of all sizes should be able to list their information in a central resource, and that marketers should be able to access it free of charge. This empowers both parties and grows the industry.

Media-focused content

Content of particular interest to readers active in OOH would include #MediaViews by our columnist Anne van Rensburg, the MD of PHD Cape Town and a seasoned media professional who’s worked in the industry for decades. #MediaViews examines topical matters relating to media strategy in South Africa.

#AdTracker looks at ad spend in South Africa. It is usually written by Megan Sayle, senior strategy partner South Africa & SSA at Carat (part of dentsu), and Graham Deneys is chief strategy officer: media brands of Carat SA & SSA.

Dean Oelschig is founder of Halo, an independent creative and design agency which has managed to garner quite a bit of media coverage with its billboard campaigns for Pineapple. In #AgencyAunt, he gives unsolicited advice to marketers to get the best from their agencies.

Other regulars in our columnist lineup include Veli Ngubane, founding partner and chief growth officer of Avatar Agency Group; Taazima Kala-Essack, GM and lead consultant at Hotwire PRC, Botswana’s oldest and largest PR consultancy; Jarred Cinman, CEO of VMLY&R South Africa; and Melusi Tshabalala, ECD and partner at OFYT.

Free & easy engagement with the broader industry

MarkLives is published every Thursday and sent directly to your mailbox (so no need to click through to a website to read our stories). Subscribe to our free edition today to receive the weekly newsletter, add your business to our Ramify directory to make it easier for marketers and agencies to connect with your service, and ensure you’re on our editorial diary mailing list to start actively engaging with the broader advertising and marketing industries. Thanks to Livia and, expect to see more OOH-related content on MarkLives in future, as we look to foster greater engagement and conversation between agencies, marketers and OOH specialists.


Herman Manson is the founder and editor of, as well as the founder of, which connects agencies, brands, suppliers and industry associations to each other (get your profile today). is a subscription-based, weekly trade publication offering a fresh, independent and investigative view of southern Africa’s changing communications landscape. Our journalism-driven newsletter is aimed at marketing, media and advertising professionals. It contains industry news, opinion, analysis, case studies and profiles, and showcases marketing innovation.