Nunu Ntshingila is one of the highest ranking women in advertising and Chairman of South Africa’s largest agency group. She is widely regarded as a leading light in the industry, having worked her way up the ladder from a position as a trainee account manager.
Over the two decades in which she has consolidated her career in the South African advertising industry, Nunu has received several of the industry’s highest honours. In 2003, she was named a finalist in the Businesswoman of the Year Award, in 2004 she again attained finalist status in the Shoprite Checkers/SABC Woman of the Year award, as well as being named Financial Mail’s Advertising Leader of the Year. In 2005, she won the coveted prize of Business Personality of the Year at the Top Women in Business and Government Awards.
In early 2011, Nunu was appointed to the Ogilvy & Mather Board, where she joins 30 of the world’s top advertising and marketing professionals as the unique representative from Africa. In a note that went out to the worldwide Ogilvy network of 450 offices in 120 countries from Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, and Miles Young, Global CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, Nunu was hailed as an outstanding representative of the opportunities Ogilvy sees in Africa: “Nunu is the fearless and charismatic leader of the South African business and she represents the future of Ogilvy & Mather.”
In her many years at Ogilvy, Nunu has overseen the agency’s evolution into a diversified communications group that continues to deliver integrated, effective and award-winning work for South Africa’s biggest and most well-recognised brands, including DSTV, SABMiller, KFC, Cadbury, BP, Volkswagen and Coca-Cola.
Under her leadership, Ogilvy South Africa has grown from strength to strength, not only in terms of income but also new business. Importantly, her steadfast leadership is also one of the primary reasons that the group enjoys some of the most long-term and successful client partnerships in the industry. In 2011, the agency celebrated 50 years with SAB and 32 with Volkswagen.
Perhaps most importantly, however, Nunu has been instrumental in the creation of a pan-African joint venture with WPP’s Scangroup. This deal, more than anything, represents Ntshingila’s confidence in Africa, and her optimism about the future of the continent and the crucial role that South Africa has to play in its growth and development. In all likelihood, it will become the legacy that she leaves not only to O&M, but to the advertising world at large.
In 2012, Nunu takes on the role as Chairman of the Ogilvy Group in South Africa, succeeded by Abey Mokgwatsane as CEO.
Nunu is widely regarded for her knowledge and experience as well as her level-headed business savvy. She is, however, equally well-renowned for her gentle and compassionate nature, and her natural empathy has won her the hearts and admiration of staff and colleagues alike. It is this rare combination of business understanding and creative innovation that has earned her seats on a variety of company boards, including Transnet.