The Commercial Producers Association of South Africa (CPA) is the professional association of companies specialising in the production of television commercials. The Association

CPA Executive Officer, Bobby Amm
was founded in the late 1970’s. It is run by an Executive Committee of 8 elected members and has offices in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The industry encompasses two sectors:

  • South African Commercials: Based primarily in Johannesburg, the home of South Africa's advertising sector, this is a vibrant industry which produces world-class commercials for both South Africa and international territories. South African directors are known throughout the world for their high creative standards and innovative techniques.

  • International Commercials: South Africa is home to a busy foreign commercial sector which is more Cape Town-based. A number of experienced companies facilitate hundreds of commercials each year from different parts of the world. In the last 15 years South Africa has established a solid reputation as one of the finest film locations in the world.

Executive Officer, Bobby Amm, spoke to In Focus about the organisation and her role.

“The CPA is undoubtedly one of the most stable and consistent organisations in the film industry today.  We have 38 members, but are hoping to attract more this year. Although it is a small, member funded organisation there is a strong spirit of mutual respect and co-operation among members. 

“It is encouraging to see that although CPA members are competitors, there is a free exchange of advice and ideas between members, regardless of their size, speciality or physical location.  I think the success of the CPA is the realisation that competitors need to work together to create a production environment that is conducive to business and which minimises risk in an industry which is notoriously high risk.

The greatest challenge to the CPA, as with all other organisations within the industry, is the availability of funding and resources.  There is a lot we can’t do simply because we don’t have the resources available to us.  This is a great pity as I believe we could be far more effective and successful if we did.”

In Focus
asked Amm about recent developments with the organisation:
“There have been several recently:

  • The CPA is about to commence its 4th consecutive CPA Survey which will measure the size and scope of the commercials sector;

  • The CPA has a new website which is also an on-line resource through which members can access all CPA documentation, contracts, advisories and information;

  • The CPA has recently been in negotiation with talent agents in an effort to make the service sector more competitive;

  • The CPA is currently in the process of resolving many of the outstanding questions regarding taxation in the industry; and

  • The CPA has recently joined the Gauteng Film Partnership – it welcomes discussion at this forum on how to make Johannesburg a film friendly and competitive City.

Amm says she essentially works alone but also works with the Executive Committee of 8 on behalf of their membership to promote the best interests of the commercial production sector.

“I have been Executive Officer for five years (2003 – present) and before that worked for the CPA from 1997 – 2000, as CE."

“Before working for the CPA, I was with Moonlighting from 2001 to 2003 and prior to that at the now defunct Consultative Committee from 1994 to 1997. I studied Journalism at Rhodes and worked in journalism from 1990 until I joined the Consultative Committee.”