Black economic empowerment and employment equity aims to enable black people in South Africa make a noteworthy contribution to the local economy by irreversibly altering the racial profile of management echelons and all employment levels. The advertising industry has been criticised for its slow empowerment advancement and were investigated for allegations of racism. The aim of this study was to explore the challenges, benefits and progress made by Cape Town advertising agencies while attempting to achieve broad-based black economic empowerment and marketing, advertising and communications transformation charter employment equity targets. These elements have been thoroughly examined by utilising a multiple case study approach and by interviewing the top twelve traditional full-service advertising agencies through use of a semi-structured interview guide. This study revealed that the advertising industry has employed a multitude of innovative black economic empowerment (BEE) strategies to facilitate transformation progress and to address a number of inherent problems.
Key words: Advertising industry, affirmative action, black economic empowerment, Cape Town, employment equity, previously disadvantaged individuals (PDI).
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