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Jeremy Maggs (right) and Ivan Moroke discuss the puzzle of what advertisers really want (Photo: Pieter Roos)

A panel discussion hosted by Jeremy Maggs of Maggs on Media Friday afternoon discussed issues around branding of content in journalism. The panellists included Patrick Conroy, head of news at eNCA, Ivan Moroke from TBWA South Africa, Tom Manners, managing director at Clockwork Media, and Fran Luckin, the executive creative director for Quirk Jozi. The discussion focused mainly on brands being marketed by journalists, what advertisers really want and how brands can use content and how content producers can use brands.

There is often a debate about the authenticity, quality and usefulness of content being marketed by journalists, but the panellists suggested that there is nothing wrong with branded content being produced by journalists as long as it does not interfere with editorial policies. One way to ensure this would be for the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) to include branding in its editorial policies. That way there would be a clearly defined regulation on the relationship between branding and journalism. In general, brands and media organisations can engage in a mutually beneficial relationship as they still very much need each one another. Ultimately great content benefits both the consumer and the brand.

Refiloe Benjamin, Dineo Phoshoko and Keneiloe Kotlolo, MMX15 Student Newsroom