Advertising Week Africa, which was due to take place in Johannesburg on 28-31 October 2019, has been postponed to the first half of 2020, following the xenophobic violence in South Africa and the resulting reprisal attacks across several African countries, Stillwell Partners, the global producers of Advertising Week, and Advertising Week Africa Advisory Council said on Monday.
“The message of Advertising Week Africa has always been that there is strength in our diversity, and therefore we stand against violence anywhere on the continent, ” Tunji Adeyinka, Republicom Group MD and Chair of the AW Africa Advisory Council, said.
“And as our central theme ‘Great Minds Think Unlike’ succinctly illustrates, we are excited to showcase the fact that we may have different languages, practices and belief systems across the continent.
“But those very differences create a rich tapestry of culture, industry and creativity representing a massive and hugely positive contribution to our continent and to the world,” Adenyika added.
Advertising Week is the world’s largest annual gathering of advertising, creative, entertainment, marketing, media and technology industry leaders. It was due to launch its maiden Africa edition in South Africa.
Twelve people were killed, including two burned alive, and scores injured after mobs of enraged black South Africans attacked foreigners recently.
Many South Africans appear to have justified the attacks, saying that black African foreigners were stealing their jobs, taking away their wives and girlfriends, and bringing crime and Aids into their country.
However, despite the violence the organisers said their commitment to launching Advertising Week Africa in Johannesburg was stronger.
“From adversity often comes opportunity and we will continue and accelerate all planning and development to ensure the success of Advertising Week Africa in 2020,” Stillwell Partners President Lance Pillersdorf said.