Odette van der Haar (nee Roper) is the CEO of the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) which is the industry body of the advertising and communications sector of South Africa. The ACA represents +100 advertising and communications agencies that collectively contribute +95% of measured ad spend in South Africa (approximately R42 billion per annum). Odette joined the ACA in October 2007 from Sentech Ltd where she headed the company’s Advertising, Events and Sponsorships portfolio. Her experience and knowledge gained locally and abroad is as a result of having worked for leading companies such as African Technology Holdings Group of Companies, South African Post Office Limited, Siemens, BP Southern Africa, Mutual & Federal and Rentworks holding positions in Marketing, Business Development and Strategy. Odette currently serves on the boards ACA, AAA School of Advertising, the Media and Marketing Collection Agency (MAMCA), Centre for Communication Impact (CCI) – formerly Johns Hopkins Health and Education in SA and the SACAP CSR (South African Council of Architectural Professionals Communications and Stakeholder Relations) Committee. Odette also served a full term on the Board of the Brand Council of South Africa, she was a custodian of the “Take a girl child to work” initiative and served on the MAPPP SETA Board of Directors. She is involved in various community projects and charities and is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network African chapter – African Leadership Initiative. Odette holds a Higher Diploma in Business Management and has completed various courses in insurance and direct marketing.
Odette is highly respected in the advertising and communications sector and her opinion on industry matters is often sought. She has been featured in publications such as the Financial Mail’s Little Black Book (2008/2009 and 2010/2011), The Mail and Guardian’s Book of South African Women (2008), The Annual (2009/2010) to name a few and has also served as a judge on numerous prestigious industry award programs including the APEX awards, AdFocus, AdReview and PICA awards to name a few.