BrandArena: BBC Advertising increases its presence across sub-Saharan Africa

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

BBC Advertising increases its presence across sub-Saharan Africa

BBC Advertising, part of BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has increased its presence across sub-Saharan Africa, by launching a local team in market.
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The decision is the latest in a series of announcements, across the business, focused on increasing the focus on emerging markets where key growth opportunities have been identified.

The newly established team, based in Johannesburg, is being led by Isla Macleod, Regional Sales Director, Africa, who joined BBC Advertising in 2009 and previously held the of position of Digital Business Development Director EMEA in London. In this new role, Macleod is responsible for the generation and delivery of advertising sales within market, including sponsored and branded content across the BBC World News channel, as well as partnered content across and the BBC World Service in all 50 sub-Saharan nations. She is also focused on building a team of home grown talent with local experience.

Currently supporting Macleod is Zione Akule, Digital Sales Director, South Africa. Akule joined the company in April 2015 having previously worked at Mediacom and graduate Malerie Pistorius, who was recently appointed TV and Online Media Planner. Recruitment is also underway for a Head of Commercial Partnerships Southern and West Africa for BBC StoryWorks, the content-led marketing arm of BBC Advertising. The successful candidate will be responsible for the creation, development and execution of relevant content packages tailored to regional client objectives.

Macleod said of the plans for Africa: “The African market is an exciting and rapidly growing market offering a wealth of new opportunities for BBC Advertising, particularly in the digital space. I’m delighted to be heading up this new team for BBC Advertising, that will ensure we can offer our clients a more personal and bespoke service around, BBC World News and BBC World Service; while delivering the business’s commitment to further boost the BBC’s international digital footprint within the market.”

Focusing efforts on the ground supports recent changes in the market where there has been a growing appreciation from clients to have a direct point of contact in market. It also ensures the team can continue to build on the digital footprint in this key emerging market and further the success of’s Africa edition which launched in April 2015.

Since launch the Africa Edition has witnessed a significant engagement from audiences, attracting an average of 400 000 unique browsers per month, over 90% higher than at launch. Africa Live is also becoming an increasingly valued source of African news, delivering 10% of page views to the African News Index and during in November 2015, 75% of visitors/browsers came from outside the market.

The BBC’s investment in telling the African story cuts across radio, TV and digital platforms, bringing audiences multilingual content – including English, Kiswahili, French, Arabic, Hausa, Somali, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi - from across the continent. With presence in 48 African countries and more than 160 reporters across the continent, the BBC is committed to bringing news and insights from Africa to audiences locally, regionally and internationally.

Global spending on media is forecast to rise at a compound annual rate of 5.1 percent during the next five years—to $2.1 trillion in 2019, from $1.6 trillion in 2014.

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