5 05, 2016

RMS Media joins global network of independent media agencies


Exciting news for South Africa is that local agency RMS Media is part of the new Local Planet global network

By Michael Bratt

This article appeared at The Media Online:

Michael Bratt spoke to CEO, Rob Smuts, to find out more.

Joining a global agency network is not a new thing for RMS Media as the company was previously part of Columbus Media International, a collective of global, independent […]

RMS Media joins global network of independent media agencies2017-10-23T16:37:32+02:00
3 05, 2016

Independent media agencies ‘under pressure to team up’


Local Planet claims to be the world’s only privately owned international media agency network

by David Furlonger, 03 May 2016, 05:47

Published in Business Day

INDEPENDENT media agencies are at a disadvantage in an era of market globalisation and must work together to win business, Rob Smuts, CEO of Johannesburg-based RMS Media, said.

RMS, which specialises in media buying […]

Independent media agencies ‘under pressure to team up’2017-10-23T16:59:49+02:00
1 05, 2016

RMS Media joins Local Planet to gain the best of both worlds


South African media agency RMS Media is a founder shareholder of the newly launched Local Planet, a global media agency network comprising many of the world’s leading independent media agencies.

According to RMS Media CEO Rob Smuts, the new network has forged a winning formula – an alternative network comprising best-in-class, independent owner-managed media agencies from around the world, each with an equity stake in the global company.

As the world’s first and only privately owned media agency network, Local Planet’s difference is that it understands that business is personal and clients get the owners of agencies personally invested in their business.

The fact that the founding shareholder agencies are able to maintain their independence, ensures that they keep a local mind-set, along with the spirit and hunger of a start-up. At the same time, they are able to offer clients strong international capability and all the benefits of a network.

The new independent media agency network will continue to deliver locally relevant communication solutions, with no attempt to impose the centralised one-size-fits-all approach often employed by corporate networks. Even though brands and media platforms may be global, business and people are still local. The top-down, centralised approach to international media does not work because local market circumstances and opportunities are not considered.

“The key to Local Planet’s international success will be our ability to compete and win locally,” says Smuts, “In building a genuine alternative global media network from the ground up, the executives who grew their successful agencies into market leading independents are buying in to the network – not selling out!  As a result, the loss of key skills that generally follows a corporate buyout is avoided. The local-up approach brings together the skills capabilities and perspectives that exist in media today to deliver where it matters.”

Building upon foundations established by Columbus Media International, Local Planet operates in over 40 markets across the world and accesses a team of 3000 media experts. It includes the renowned  Horizon Media in the US, 7stars in the UK, Spain’s Zertem Communication Group, Italy’s Media Italia, Germany’s pilot, France’s CoSpirit MediaTrack, Sweden’s Tre Kronor and India’s Percept Media among its founder shareholder agencies.  The network agencies currently work with some high profile brands including Geico, Capital One, Nike, IKEA, Viacom, Pfizer, H&M and Kayak.

In addition to bringing together leading independent media agencies from around the world, Local Planet also boasts highly experienced leadership. Martyn Rattle, formerly Global CEO of Vizeum and Global Chief Client Officer of Aegis Media, has been named Global CEO of Local Planet, while Bill Koenigsberg, President, Founder and CEO of Horizon Media has been named Chairman. Moreover, all the main shareholder agencies’ founders and leaders will sit on the newly formed Local Planet Group Board, leveraging the talents and experience of some of the foremost names in the media industry.

Of the leadership of the new global network, Smuts says, “The beauty of our structure is that the very same leaders, who invested their passionate energy in building their own successful agencies, continue […]

RMS Media joins Local Planet to gain the best of both worlds2017-10-23T16:44:27+02:00
1 10, 2015

Rob Smuts: Media Legend


Rob Smuts was named Media Legend at the Most Awards 2015

See video interview with Rob Smuts Media Legend below

Winner of the Media Agency Legend Award at the 2015 MOST Awards was Rob Smut of RMS Media.

The MOST Legend and Rising Star Awards are presented to individuals in recognition of their commitment and integrity. Nominations for these awards are submitted by respondents to the survey and the winner was selected by a panel of previous winners using specially selected criteria. These awards cannot be won more than once by any nominee.

He talked to MC Jason Goliath after the awards show.


Rob Smuts: Media Legend2017-10-23T09:10:27+02:00
30 09, 2015

Future of Media in Africa


From Rome to ROMI

By Rob Smuts

Like Pliny the Elder (ex Africa semper aliquid novi) most marketers keep looking to find something new from Africa, but it’s not always easy to find the key to measurable ROMI, even in a temptingly under-marketed and under-supplied African market.

At the core of this, seemingly lies the lack of access to robust media and marketing data, and marketing insights. In the recently published World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) Marketing in Africa 2015 report 50% of marketers indicated that accurate ROMI analysis is “impossible”. Interestingly though, if we probe the data further, we discover that 55% of these same marketers indicate that “media audience measurement is sufficiently robust and reliable” in these regions.


Future of Media in Africa2017-10-23T09:10:27+02:00
20 09, 2015

heat withers while Wild & Jag soars


A tale of two magazines

By Rob Smuts

The recent closure of heat magazine made me think about the state of the magazine industry in general. It’s easy to be swayed by all the negativity around print media overall and magazines in particular. Consumer magazines’ circulation numbers continue to slide, mobile is taking over, etc. Don’t even mention programmatic!

But my gut feel tells me a different story, so I started digging a bit deeper.

Sure, consumer magazines are under significant circulation and advertising pressure. The official ABC circulation figures for the period October to December 2014 contain some real shockers.


heat withers while Wild & Jag soars2017-10-23T09:10:27+02:00
10 06, 2015

It’s all about streaming content


Consumer behaviour in a streaming world

By Rob Smuts

Whether consumers use over the top services delivered via satellite or the internet, the reality of the new television world is one that consists of what used to be called on demand video. These days I prefer to use the term streaming content, as it more accurately describes what, especially, young people are doing these days.

Having access to the world’s content comes natural for a new wave of consumers.

Activities such as binge watching is gaining strength with streaming content services. Back in the day you had to have the physical DVD box set for all the episodes of a television show in order to binge-watch.


It’s all about streaming content2017-10-23T09:10:27+02:00
1 10, 2014

The complex new world of media research


Media research in 2014

By Rob Smuts

As the media industry transforms, so should the media research advertisers depend on to make decisions. It used to be that each release of the venerable All Media and Products Survey (Amps) signalled the most important event in media research in South Africa.

In fact, without the traditional Amps media research, can we possibly make any advertising placement decisions that are any good? At this time, probably not. But what does the future hold for media research?


The complex new world of media research2017-10-23T09:10:27+02:00
18 07, 2014

Fragmentation of TV Audiences / The Rise of Digital


The impact of fragmentation of TV Audiences / The Rise of Digital

By Rob Smuts

How long will television continue to take the lion’s share of advertising spend in our South African market? How will the fragmentation of TV impact media decision-making?

Recently released Internet Advertising Bureau and PwC data on advertising spend in the UK indicate total UK digital ad spend went up 15% year-on-year to £6.3bn in 2013. Mobile ad spend doubled to break the £1bn mark and now accounts for £1 in £6 of digital advertising in the UK.


Fragmentation of TV Audiences / The Rise of Digital2017-10-23T09:10:27+02:00
14 03, 2014

Media research at the crossroads


Media research body Saarf is critical for media strategy

ROB SMUTS explains why Saarf is critical to our industry and why destroying it would be the biggest mistake we could make

The South African Advertising Research Foundation (Saarf) is different from the rest of the media research world. Saarf has been the envy of the international research world because many other countries have failed to develop processes and methodologies to measure media audiences in an independent way.

Saarf was launched in 1975 and what set it apart from the rest of the world were three visionary developments.

Media research conundrum


Media research at the crossroads2017-10-23T09:10:27+02:00