Black economic empowerment progress in the advertising industry in Cape Town: Challenges and benefits

  • RG Duffett
  • IC Van der Heever
  • D Bell
Keywords: advertising agency, advertising industry, affirmative action, Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA), black economic empowerment (BEE),


Black economic empowerment (BEE) aims to enable black people
in South Africa, as legislatively classified, to make a noteworthy
contribution to the local economy by irreversibly altering the racial
profile of ownership, management echelons and all employment
levels of existing and new organisations (SA dti 2004: 4–5). The
transformation process in South Africa has been a lengthy and
complex one, with the government gradually enacting enabling
legislation. The advertising industry has been criticised for its slow
empowerment advancement, which led to two parliamentary hearings
in the early 2000s to investigate allegations of racism and poor
transformation progress. The Association for Communication and
Advertising (ACA) has been the main driving force of transformation
within the South African advertising industry, but there have been
few studies that have effectively investigated transformation and BEE
progress within this industry over recent years. Therefore, the main
objective of this study was to explore progress made by advertising
agencies towards transformation in Cape Town, as well as the
challenges and benefits that result from implementing BEE measures.
The aforementioned was thoroughly examined by utilising a multiple
case study approach and by interviewing the top 12 traditional fullservice
advertising agencies in Cape Town.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1998-8125
print ISSN: 1561-896X