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South African Tourism's global advertising and marketing campaign with CNN has won the only gold award for media owners at today's prestigious Internationalist Awards for Innovation in Media.
CNN was the only media owner to collect gold for its "My South Africa" global advertising campaign that was conceptualised in partnership with South African Tourism.
"This is a feather in all our caps," says Roshene Singh, chief marketing officer at South African Tourism. "It shows that our creativity is working not only to attract the attention of CNN's millions-strong global audience, but also to attract the attention and the approval of some of the most discerning, media-savvy and marketing people in the world . the people who judged entries for the 2008 award.
"We're getting it right, and we are delighted that CNN has received this accolade."
Rani Raad, senior vice-president of advertising sales at CNN, says the team at the global network is proud of both the success at the internationalist awards and of its collaboration with South African Tourism.
"This award is a direct result of the collaboration and hard work that has gone into this campaign. We have learned that Oxford University would like to use the campaign as a case study in its business school too.
"The destination of the South Africa campaign is a resounding success on all fronts."
The total number of entries represented 30 countries. Entries were judged on a number ofcriteria including innovative use media, breakthrough communication ideas and world-class media solutions.
The campaign had its genesis in June last year when South African Tourism and CNN produced their first-ever user-generated content campaign with the express ambition of building South Africa as a leisure tourism destination.
The partnership captured the Zeitgeist of shared multimedia experiences through a multimedia brand campaign, "My South Africa", driven via a bespoke website - www.mysouthafrica.tv.
The campaign encourages CNN viewers worldwide to harness their creativity and upload compelling photographs, moving images and stories that encapsulate their experiences of South Africa, via the "My South Africa" website.
A series of "call-to-action" vignettes (the first featuring songstress Yvonne Chaka-Chaka) were created. The campaign continues this year with other well-known South Africans featured in a series of four new vignettes.
The campaign is being executed on air, in print and online. It's running until the end of next year, and spans the Fifa World Cup when all eyes will be on South Africa as host nation.