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#Newsmaker: Jacquie Mullany on making magic in FCB Africa role

FCB Africa has announced that Jacquie Mullany has been appointed as executive creative director. With almost two decades of experience in the industry, she says she is excited to bring new ideas to life.
Jacquie Mullany. Source: Supplied.
Jacquie Mullany. Source: Supplied.

Mullany has a qualification in copywriting from Vega School of Communications and recently completed studies in behavioural economics and applied behavioural sciences.

What are you excited about in your new position?

I’m excited to make my mark here! We have amazing humans at FCB and I cannot wait to make magic with every single one of them.

With your 19 years of experience, what do you think you will be bringing to the position?

Over my time, I’ve grown comfortable knowing that I don’t know everything. It makes me collaborative in bringing together specialists, as well as different ideas and perspectives. I can guide thinking, but it takes everyone to make work that stands out, is effective, and creates change.

What are the highlights of your career?

I have made work that has been celebrated and I’m incredibly proud of, but my highlights have really been working with various people who have shaped me. I’ve been in awe, I’ve learned, I’ve been inspired by some of the world’s greatest talent, and I count myself lucky.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your career?

There are two challenges that stand out.

The first is being able to let go. When I have an idea that I truly believe in, I won’t say no until it gets made, or often, doesn’t get made. It can feel personal and frustrating – and can even hold you back from new ideas, or better ideas. That challenge still gets me, I’m a WIP!

The second challenge is imposter syndrome. It often rears its ugly head and I have to ask myself why. It could be trying to lead in a way that has been learned and not necessarily authentic to me and my style, or it could be that I just had a less than stellar idea! It happens to us all… But I try to use it as a superpower and make myself and my work better.

What do you think are the biggest problems facing the creative industry right now?

The industry used to be about TV commercials and print ad. Then it became digital. Now, advertising is everything. And for creatives, the fear that can come from an open brief can be paralysing! We constantly feel like we need to talk to everyone, everywhere when we should focus on connecting with someone, somewhere.

What inspires you every day?

Not knowing. Starting the day not knowing what idea will come out of a brief keeps me pushing. There is nothing like a great idea… The butterflies, the mind spinning off into “what if”. That truly inspires me to keep creating.

Any advice for young people who want to have a career like yours?

Always find the fun. This industry can be hard and a thick skin goes a long way. You won’t always be the best, you won’t always be the winner, you won’t always get it right. But we get to play with ideas, and colours and words – and possibilities! If you’re not having fun, then what are you doing?

Please, push hard but trust me, when you make it fun, the journey gets a lot easier.

About Karabo Ledwaba

Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at

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