Our Story

Our agency is a multi-generational family business with a focus on your brand of tomorrow.

Paul Middleton Snr. opened the doors of our agency in 1969.

He was a business-minded man of advertising and a copywriter by trade. Typical of that time, the agency went by his name: Paul Middleton Advertising. His two decades held success and many highlights, one being the 1979 Gold awarded at the New York Film Festival. This win was a first for a South African agency.

Ebony+Ivory came to life in 1990, a year after he handed the management reins to his son. Paul David Middleton began his career with a hunger to learn, traits for which he remains respected in advertising and media.

He learnt the business step by step from his dad. He started his seven-year internship on the frontlines, as the agency messenger, after which he became the switchboard operator, media manager and then client service manager.

When he bought the business from Paul Middleton Snr. in 1989, his choice of the new name was one of his first activist moves to rebel against apartheid in South Africa. This spirit of activism lives on in our culture as the agency prioritises an inclusive approach that begins on the inside and carries through to a co-creation and collaborative approach to working with clients.

Our Team

Agency Timeline

Paul Middleton Advertising Established

Level 1 Agency

Earning our relevance in the South African and broader African market place with a purpose to build brands and people while building industry, country and continent.

Ebony+Ivory is a 100% local and independent agency that is 70% owned by a family trust and 30% owned by Black women-owned and managed firm, Lwazi Capital. Lwazi Capital was estab­lished in September 2014 with a purpose to work in partnership with company management and other shareholders to grow and add value to the companies in which it is invested. Managing Director of the Lwazi Group, Nombini Mehlomakulu is a Director of Ebony+Ivory. She has a distinguished academic and corporate career and is active on a daily basis in supporting the agency’s client delivery and staff development.

Our decision to invest in Ebony+Ivory was deliberate. We had sought investment opportunities for a long time and found the level of knowledge, skills base and maturity synergistic with the growth we seek to unlock in the sector.

~ Nombini Mehlomakulu

B-BBEE Level 1

Ebony+Ivory is a Level 1 B-BBEE Contributor, verified according to the Media, Advertising and Communication (MAC) Sector Charter on Black Economic Empowerment.

Our philosophy and actions reflect the transformation principles through which we follow our intentions of being representative of the demographics of South Africa:

  • To promote economic transformation to enable meaningful participation of Black people in the economy.
  • To increase the number of Black people with whom we partner, including Black women and other designated groups such as those with disabilities.
  • To achieve a substantial change in the composition of the management structure and in the skilled occupations of existing structures within the agency.
  • To promote preferential procurement principles to increase access to finance to qualifying B-BBEE entities and/or individuals.
  • To provide skills and development opportunities to enable growth of Black people into management and skilled occupations within the agency.


One of the ways in which we have pursued industry transformation is through our hybrid empowerment model for local media and creative entrepreneurs.

This is embodied in Hlumani, an initiative which empowers enterprise growth for advertising and creative entrepreneurs who show high levels of passion for a career in the industry.

Hlumani provides professionals such as media strategists, designers, copywriters, digital and social media managers, filmmakers and other industry specialists with free infrastructure and connectivity, administrative support and mentorship.

With diversity and skills, new age thinking, cultural nuances and grass roots experience, brand and marketing decision makers can connect with these independents in the Ebony+Ivory network.

Giving Back


When two incredible South African health care organisations, Lambano Children’s Sanctuary and St John South Africa, joined forces to help more critically ill children and their families, we were happy to be a part of it with logo design, radio production plus media planning and buying help for the combined brand.

St John South Africa is an international community health care training company and Lambano, a paediatric medical step-down facility for children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses. The partnership will support the growth of South Africa’s first sub-acute and palliative care facility for children.

Industry Contributor

We are an active member of reactive and media industry bodies: