For the greater good

South Africa's first non-profit creative agency is aligning smart business practices with a heightened awareness of social responsibility.
Boniswa Pezisa and Mike Schalit.
Boniswa Pezisa and Mike Schalit.

With more and more emphasis being placed on business practices that promote "generous brands" and support "good economic empowerment" the launch of South Africa’s first non-profit creative agency by the Net#work BBDO group is a promising development.

Creative activist Mike Schalit and Net#work BBDO chairperson Boniswa Pezisa are the founders a “new age” independent consultancy that will help decision-makers to optimize their triple bottom line. The MAL Foundation will work around the philosophy of “MakeALiving-MakeALife”, a variation on the “MAD” (Make A Difference) ideal.

Inspired by the famous Winston Churchill quote: “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give” the MAL Foundation will advise those in positions of influence on how to employ the notion of “generous brands” to gain a competitive advantages. This means increased social mindedness by aligning marketing and social responsibility initiatives and creating ideas that connect imaginatively with the target market through unique, and sometimes unconventional, touch-points.

MAL plans to advise and manage “goodvertising” projects for private or public clients or government enterprises. They will also consult on the long-term sustainability of business and society. Businesses will pay for MAL’s services so that they can distribute the money back into social development.

The interconnectivity of nature, society and business calls for a symbiotic relationship. Pezisa explains that “if brands don’t start crafting a new brand journey with a focused higher purpose, then their economic future may look bleak”.

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