Astrid Ascar joins Wunderman as Chief Strategic Officer

17 May 2018 3 min. read
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Drawing on the substantial expansion of digital technology across South Africa’s business environment, creative marketing and consulting agency Wunderman has bolstered its operations in the country through the appointment of Astrid Ascar as its Chief Strategic Officer. 

Astrid Ascar has nearly 30 years of experience in the media industry, starting as a radio presenter and eventually delving into other media avenues, including print, television and mobile. Notably, her experience includes the co-founding of a business channel in South Africa by the name of Summit TV, which continues to run today under the name BDTV.

She is also responsible for launching The Home Channel, alongside having worked at renowned media agencies such as Naspers, M-Net, CNBC Africa, and DStv – where she worked for 12 years, eventually ascending to the position of General Manager.

Over the last nine years, Ascar has been working as an independent media and marketing consultant, which has bred familiarity with South Africa’s current business environment. She will hope to leverage this experience and familiarity to thrive at her new role as Chief Strategic Officer at Wunderman.

South Africa is faced with significant change from digital advancement, much like the rest of the world, which is being accelerated now by an increasing willingness among all business segments to leverage the latest in digital technology. As a result, a number of marketing agencies have begun to enhance their digital offerings to suit the changing market.

Astrid Ascar, Chief Strategic Officer - Wunderman

“Clients have matured. They have a far better idea of what they’re looking for and have been exposed to different ways of thinking over the years, so the pressure is on to help them embrace digital transformation and build customer experiences that build loyalty and drive retention,” said Ascar.

Wunderman is a New-York-based international digital marketing agency that was founded in 1958, and has since grown to operate across 70 countries worldwide. The firm, which is part of the global WPP Group, employs over 9,000 people across the globe, operating out of 200 offices.

Wunderman’s service offerings extend across three broad categories, namely data & analytics, creative communications & experiences, and marketing technology & automation. The last of these is particularly important, as digital transformation to cope with increasing automation is a priority in the current South African business environment.

Haydn Townsend, CEO of Wunderman South Africa said of Ascar’s appointment, “Astrid has an incredible understanding of the ever-changing media and digital marketing landscape, and has a brilliant ability to devise strategies to assist with adapting to such changes.”

Ascar added, “Joining the Wunderman South Africa family is an incredible opportunity. I truly believe that, globally, agencies are under pressure to revisit their ways of thinking and servicing clients, and their business models. There’s a need to expand the perception of what we’re capable of doing. That’s what I hope to bring to Wunderman South Africa.”