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Platypus Productions appoints Anthony Wayment as development producer

With over 14 years in South Africa's production industry, Platypus Productions is leading the way into the future with their commitment to finding new technology vehicles for brands.

With the recent appointment of London-born Anthony Wayment to the position of Development Producer, they've nailed their colours to the mast.

"With so much churn in the communications industry we are preparing our clients and ourselves for the impact of on-demand television where consumers decide what to watch, when and how. In this area traditional "push" advertising which still forms the mainstay of our business, loses traction; so we're investigating opportunities for branded content. Anthony is the right man. His top-draw experience working on internationally celebrated programmes like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy; and making Fame Academy, Shattered and the branded reality TV Too2Much for British television will be hugely helpful to creating projects for our clients," says Stanley Edwards, Platypus Productions' partner responsible for new media.

Wayment is planning on making waves, yet: "I am not a Brit coming to South Africa to arrogantly hail UK television production as the best. The architect of UK television ultimately resides with the Public Service Broadcaster, the BBC, who have had decades of hiccups and experience along the way, that has given them the wisdom to which their success rests. As a Public Service Broadcaster its duty is to educate the public and not be a commercial monster answerable to shareholders and viewing figures. It does not advertise on any of its UK platforms. Its income comes from worldwide distribution, numerous international channels and the £130 per annum license fee which amounts to a £4-billion pot from which to create eight TV channels and five radio stations as well as a comprehensive online resource. Its goal is to embrace and pioneer new media platforms so that they can carve out the future of television and provide the viewer content however, whatever and whenever they like.

"The SABC has been autonomous for 10-years now and should be looking to international national broadcasters for direction and a solid solution to creating content with high production values that people can identify with. I see it does engage with the various cultures and their official languages but it could do so much more", he says. From his vantage point the SABC takes both license fee money and advertising money yet it still fails to deliver. "South Africa is fortunate enough to allow product placement on television which the UK has banned as blatant exploitation. In this sense the UK acts a nanny state to protect its people, but I see that the brands have the money and they want to spend it. Let them spend it on television we can all enjoy and be educated by."

Although a hobbyhorse of Platypus Productions for over two years now, Wayment will focus on advertiser-funded programming. "This new genre of TV is 'Branded Entertainment' or 'Edutainment.' South Africa can transcend the years of trial and error and pick and choose the best of the US and the UK and create its own TV operation that works. Just as it has done so in its constitution and banking systems, the TV industry needs to pull its socks up and embrace the change," Wayment says adding that he recognises that South Africa Television has youth on its side to fuse together trusted means of television production.

"Ad agencies here are relying on old methods in the UK that relied upon people's naivety. Now the public in the UK are savvy to the hidden messages and manipulation and are immune and somewhat cynical. The 'hard-sell' is falling away to 'brand-building' which fosters life-long relationships," he concludes.

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