Mandie van der Merwe and Avish Gordhan have been appointed creative directors at the Sydney office of independent agency Cummins&Partners.
After two years producing campaigns for FoxSports, QT Hotels & Resorts, Allianz, Go Gentle Australia with Andrew Denton and PUMA Oceania, the duo’s ascendancy comes at an exciting time for the agency having recently won HBF, Podravka Foods, University of Tasmania and fintech start-up Lodex.
Gordhan and van der Merwe have been recognised at almost every major international and local award show. Their work includes the critically acclaimed ‘#ShotBySound’ campaign for David Jones, the controversial ‘Stop The Horror’ project for Go Gentle Australia, and the darkly comedic ‘Last Dictator Standing’ campaign for Nando’s South Africa, among others.
Before joining Cummins&Partners Sydney, the pair worked at TBWA/Sydney and some of the most renowned agencies in South Africa including TBWA/Hunt Lascaris and Black River FC.
Founding partner Sean Cummins of the appointment, “I have watched from afar the meticulous and thoughtful work of Mandie and Avish and it truly represents where we want to be as an agency”.
“The creative scene in Australia has been a bit one note for too long and there is a bigger and more diverse world that exists beyond the watering holes of Sydney’s adland. There has been recent excitement about agency sell-outs…but the true shift in advertising doesn’t happen because a consultancy buys a hot shop. It happens person-by-person, brief-by-brief, day-by-day. Avish and Mandie are exquisite thinkers, insightful outsiders and real people,” Cummins added.
Gordhan said of the appointment, “Upon hearing of our promotion, Mandie patted me on the back then said, “now, let’s get back to work.” It sums up our approach to the role. It’s a great honour to be recognised but the real reward is not the position itself. It’ll be succeeding in it by making excellent work that works for our clients, and challenges our industry.”
Van der Merwe added, “We are a highly motivated, diverse and creative group of people in Sydney. I’m looking forward to building on this foundation and pushing the quality of work even further. Personally, I’m excited to be working more closely with Kirsty Muddle, one of the founders of the business. She is intimidatingly smart and a striking example of what strong, female leadership looks like in a modern agency.”
The pair succeed Tom Martin and Julian Schreiber who leave to join Special Group.