ANNY Mouton is a trailblazer in her own right as the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the country’s biggest advertising agencies, Ogilvy & Mather Namibia.
Formed in 1996, Ogilvy & Mather Namibia is known for its top-rated advertising agency network the world over owing to the company’s commitment to its creative process, clients and the brand overall.
In an interview with Confidente recently, Mouton talked about the establishment of her company, challenges facing the industry and the more than two decades of erratic sleep and building brilliant brands.
Give us a snapshot of who you are?
DRD47R – the restless gene. Need I say more? This is a summary of who I am.
Briefly tell us about your upbringing?
I grew up in a divorced home and moved many times in my life, making it difficult to cultivate long-term friendships. It wasn’t always easy, but my mother was my greatest supporter and she believed that I had what it takes to succeed. She was the only constant in an ever changing environment.
Tell us about the establishment of Ogilvy & Mather Namibia?
In 1995 I sold my previous agency, and signed a one-year restraint of trade. I was confident that I did not want to work in advertising again. However, after six months I missed the adrenaline rush and started planning the opening of a new agency. June 1996 Ogilvy & Mather Namibia opened its doors. It is my life, my passion and my reality.
What are challenges and opportunities facing the company?
The economy is facing challenging times, and most company’s cut their marketing budgets when financial difficulties loom. Our industry is facing hard times at the moment, and the young freelancers around every corner are complicating the issue further. Clients cutting budgets use freelancers to do campaigns that they are not always equipped to handle. These clients then become frustrated with the industry as a whole and one of our biggest challenges is to then bring this client back to being a business partner and working in a symbiotic relationship where both parties trust each other. Many of my team members over the years have started their own businesses and I encourage that, but you have to know your strengths and weaknesses, always having the brand’s best interest at heart.
What would you say has been the company’s winning formula?
Persistency, honesty, hard work and never taking anything for granted
What fond memories, achievements over the years do you cherish most?
In my career there were many highlights, but I think launching the Namibia Dollar with the central bank and my partner, Molly Curry, was one of the biggest. It was an amazing campaign and obviously a great honour to be involved in such a momentous event. Molly and I also launched Telecom Namibia in 1993.
How do you juggle your roles as a family woman and professional running a company?
This is not always an easy task. I have to rely heavily on my team at the office and the support structures at home to be able to juggle these roles. My children have always been supportive and passionate about our industry and the excitement that comes with it. They have been my biggest fans and my biggest critics. They have made it possible for me to pursue advertising. At the office, teamwork makes juggling possible, and the amazing people at Ogilvy have always been part of my team, making it possible to succeed on both fronts.
What advice do you have for women?
Learn to trust who you are, trust your gut feelings about people and situations. Work hard, nothing valuable in life comes free of charge. I really would like to just lead by example and inspire young people to the same level of commitment and passion in their careers.
What don’t people know about you?
I cry in comedies, so my kids never take me to watch a drama.
Just what do you do for a little fun?
For A-type personalities very little you do in life is just for fun! I started cycling two years ago, the deeper in the bush, the harder the trail, the more I push myself and my own boundaries, the more fun I have.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015