South African advertising industry veteran Hennie Klerck has been presented with the AAA School of at its recent graduation ceremony. Hennie’s influence has significantly contributed to shaping the foundation of the advertising education landscape over the past three decades.
According to Dr. Ludi Koekemoer, MD and Principal of the AAA School of Advertising, Hennie is a true doyen of the advertising industry. No newcomer to the AAA (Association of Advertising Agencies), Hennie received the accolade for his contribution to founding the AAA School of Advertising between 1989 and 1990. As Chairman of the advertising industry professional body, he was the driving force behind the AAA’s acquisition of the Boston House College of Advertising in 1989.
“Today the AAA School of Advertising is an IAA (International Advertising Association) accredited, world class advertising school rated number two in the world by Lürcher’s Archive. It is a privilege to recognise the efforts of the person who spearheaded our humble beginnings” says Dr Ludi Koekemoer.
Fellow board members of the era included Reg Lascaris, Bob Rightford, David McKinstry, Alex Mc Cormack and Peter de Klerk (as the Director of the School). Their stated objective was to prepare students for the marketing communications industry in cooperation with the advertising industry. Captured in the 20 April 1990 Board Meeting minutes, they stated ‘The interests of the ad industry must be jealously guarded at all times’.
Hennie founded Adverkor with Lucas Potgieter in 1967, which later merged with Odes Marais to form Klerck Marais & Potgieter (KMP) in 1975. Although they had many Afrikaans clients, they were the first advertising agency to open a branch in Soweto in 1979.
In 1981 KMP became a member of Compton International which was taken over by Saatchi & Saatchi. KMP underwent a number of name changes like Klerck & White, Klerck & Barrett, until 1997 when the local names were dropped in favour of Saatchi & Saatchi.
In 1993 Hennie was honoured by Reader’s Digest as the Advertising Man of the Year and he was inducted into the Reader’s Digest Hall of Fame. He also then received the Society of Marketer’s prestigious Protea Award and a Pendoring Lifelong award at the end of 2011 for his contribution to advertising in Afrikaans.