M&C Saatchi Sydney has announced creative duo Mandie van der Merwe and Avish Gordhan have been appointed joint executive creative directors.
Recognised at D&AD, Cannes, The One Show, Spikes Asia, AWARD, ADMA, the Loerie Awards and many more local and international shows, van der Merwe and Gordhan have worked across three continents in the past 10 years.
They have previously held roles at Whybin/TBWA Sydney, The Jupiter Drawing Room, DraftFCB Cape Town, TBWA/Hunt Lascaris, Fortune Promoseven Bahrain, Black River FC and Cummins & Partners. The duo led Cummins & Partners Sydney to become one of the Top 20 Independent Agencies in the World and Spikes Asia Independent Agency of the Year. Most recently the team was awarded Best in Show at AWARD for Stop the Horror (Go Gentle Australia).
They have a particular focus on effective creativity which has yielded awards at the Global Effies, the Australian Effies and South Africa’s APEX Awards for effectiveness. Past clients include Fox Sports, Nando’s, Tourism New Zealand, David Jones, MINI and Virgin Money.
Cam Blackley, chief creative officer of M&C Saatchi said: “This is a coup for M&C Saatchi. As we look to flex our creative capability and offer, I couldn’t think of a better, more creative duo to fill the ECD hot seats. Mandie and Avish are pure quality. They are lovely, thoughtful, quirky individuals who genuinely care about the work and have a formidable track record in non-traditional thinking. Throw Group Creative Director Andy Flemming into the equation and we have the right leaders in place to really make some truly special work in the foreseeable future.”
Van der Merwe said: “The first time we met Cam, we knew we loved him. He has a wicked sense of humour and is very generous with his creativity. He is also really articulate about the vision for M&C Saatchi. Everyone here has a real love for this business and there’s a determination to shape not just this agency but also the industry.”
Gordhan said: “There is an intimidatingly deep pool of creative talent and experience at M&C Saatchi. So to be part of this team, and to build and grow with it, is both very exciting and humbling. I feel invigorated by this opportunity.”
The appointment is effective immediately.