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So who is and why Mike Nussey?

You need someone on your side who has been around the block. They say that you learn most from the mistakes you make and Mike has made many!

And in the process, he has learnt a lot too.

He entered the communications business in the early 1980s and did a ten-year apprenticeship at what today is the McCann-Erickson agency network. Starting off as a junior in the media department and working his way into a media planning role. Thereafter moving to client service and going through the ranks until achieving a group account directorship position. The final year at McCann was spent in an account planning role when the account planning concept was in its infancy and meant very close cohesion and interaction with both copy-writers and art directors.

An approach by Ogilvy led to a shift in career to head up Ogilvy Mather Rightford Media-Co-ordination, a subset of the Ogilvy & Mather media department. This business looked after all the media requirements of essentially four major multi-agency accounts; SABMiller, Nestle, United Tobacco Corporation and GlaxoSmithKline.

After some time it was agreed that the Co-ordination business had its limitations and in order for the business to grow it needed to win independent non-Ogilvy & Mather media business and hence Opt!mum Media was born. Mike was the founding managing director of this business.

New business was won successfully and Opt!mum soon became a financially viable media-independent, albeit with the Ogilvy Media Co-ordination client base as its backbone.

In the communications industry things are ever-changing and the agency’s parent company WPP Plc launched MindShare, a combination of their Ogilvy and JWT media brands. This multinational media agency network was rolled-out worldwide and soon it was time to amalgamate the Ogilvy, JWT, and Opt!mum brands in South Africa. Mike was the founding CEO of this business.

MindShare South Africa was a healthy combination of both multinational and large national advertisers.

Mike left MindShare in 2006 to pursue his dream of working in a start-up consultancy with Brian McMillan and Howard Gabriels, both former co-board members of SAARF. Unfortunately, Brian fell gravely ill and Howard left the business. Mike was then approached by Telmar on a contract basis to look after its business in South Africa as acting general manager.

But the lure of the media industry remained strong and he was re-employed in the industry as the MD of Mediaedge: CIA, eventually ending up at WPP’s Young & Rubicam, working predominantly on the Colgate-Palmolive and PnP businesses.

Corporate advertising had lost its allure and Mike moved to an independent business founded by a former colleague called Applied Media Logic. This business proved too good to remain independent for long and it was purchased by yet another multinational agency network, the London-based Zenith Optimedia, which in turn is owned by Publicis Groupe, headquartered in Paris. Mike ended his career in agencies as Talent Manager for Publicis Media, based in Johannesburg. Mike is a former chairperson of the Media Directors’ Circle, Gauteng, and a founding director of the Advertising Media forum AMF of South Africa.