Ben Wagner

Head of VML Cape Town

Ben has been an active member of the digital industry for more almost two decades and has served on multiple industry bodies during this period.

Previously the CEO of Stonewall+ Digital Marketing, which merged to form NATIVE following the amalgamation of Cambrient, Brandsh and Stonewall+ Digital Marketing Ben grew the agency into a formidable force in the South African marketing arena and garnered multiple accolades and awards during his stewardship of the agency.

Ben is now Head of VML Cape Town and is tasked with driving and promoting the agency into the hearts and minds of marketers, clients, potential partners and staffing talent.

Driving growth for the agency is also a key aspect to Ben’s portfolio, as well as managing the client service portfolio in Cape Town. Brand and marketers that he’s worked with to date include Absolut, Chivas Regal, Jameson, Investec, General Motors, Red Bull, Vodacom, Media24, Metropolitan, The Foschini Group, Old Mutual, Pick ‘n Pay Western Cape Government, Nedbank and Unilever.

Ben has served on the IAB Exco (formerly DMMA and OPA) for three years and his involvement has included contributing to the growth of the Bookmark Awards, creating and integrating a digital category into The Creative Circle Ad of the month, as well as broadening the relationship between the DMMA (now the IAB SA) and the ACA to ensure that digital marketing & media is strongly represented at a wider South African advertising and communications level.  

His personal achievements and accolades include:

  • Founding committee member of the Digital Forum 
  • DMMA Exco Member: 2009, 2010, 2011 
  • Loeries 2006 Chairman: Interactive Category 
  • The Bookmark Awards 2009: Jury Chair 
  • The Creative Circle/DMMA Ad of the Month 2010: Jury Chair 
  • 5 Construction New Media Awards 
  • Gold, Silver and Bronze Cannes Lions
  • 40 Bookmark Awards (Gold, Silver & Bronze) 
  • 30 Loerie Awards (Gold, Silver & Bronze) 
  • 12 Assegai Awards (Gold, Silver, Bronze & Merit) 
  • Featured in 4 Taschen Publications, including Best Web Design Studio edition 
  • 2013 and 2015 Digital Agency of the Year Winner – Bookmark Awards
  • 2008, 2010, 2014 Digital Agency of the Year Finalist (Ad Review & Ad Focus)

Obsessed with wave riding, Ben knows what it means to take calculated risks, that peaks and troughs are all part of the business and that sometimes (if you want to get out of a sticky situation) you just need to put your head down and paddle.

Cape Town, South Africa
G12 Old Castle Brewery Complex
6 Beach Road
South Africa