Zambian native John Hunt is the creative founding partner of TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris, widely accepted as one of the leading advertising agencies in the world. Established in 1983 with the mantra "Life's too short to be mediocre", the agency's stated objective was to be the first world-class communications group out of Africa. It has grown to be arguably South Africa's premier advertising agency, landing awards locally and internationally for a number of diverse accounts.
TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris was judged 1993's International Agency of the Year and won the 1994 award for Marketing Organisation of the Year. TBWA has also been voted Creative Network of the Year, both at Cannes and in numerous publications including Ad Age and Creativity.
In 1996, Hunt was elected to the South African Advertising Hall of Fame and, a year later, received the Financial Mail Long Term Achievement Award. For the past 17 years TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris was named Advertising Age's Agency of the Year for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
In 2003, a decade after working on Nelson Mandela's first election campaign, he moved to TBWA's New York headquarters to assume the role of Worldwide Creative Director. In 2005, he returned to South Africa to continue that role from Johannesburg and, in 2004, he was appointed president of the Cannes Film, Press and Outdoor Advertising Festival.
Somehow, the keen African art collector has also found time to write a number of television and theatre plays, and was named South African Playwright of the Year for Vid Alex, a condemnation of censorship during the apartheid years.