What sets the MAC Sector Code apart from others?

What sets the MAC Sector Code apart from others?

The Marketing, Advertising and Communication (MAC) Sector Code was gazetted on 6 May 2016 and came into immediate effect. This Sector Code is applicable to advertising, public relations and communications as marketing vehicles in all media, including digital platforms.

This new MAC Sector Code regulates all enterprises whose core business is the conceptualisation, creation, production and implementation of communication as a marketing tool in one or more of the following disciplines:

  1. Advertising
  2. Public Relations
  3. Experiential
  4. Design

Although the MAC Sector Code has been aligned with the Amended BEE Codes of Good Practice, there are some differences in the required thresholds which will be applied to the entity depending on the industry sub-sector applicable.

Public relations industry

  • <R 5 million turnover is regarded as an Exempted Micro Enterprise.
  • R 5 million – R 10 million turnover is regarded as a Qualifying Small Enterprise.
  • >R10 million turnover is regarded as a Generic Enterprise.

Advertising and Marketing, Advertising and Communication Research Industry

An entity with a turnover of < R10 million will be classified as an Exempted Micro Enterprise and one with a turnover between R10 million – R50 million will be a Qualifying Small Enterprise.

If the turnover is more than R50 million, they will be seen as a Generic Enterprise.

All businesses with turnovers between R10 million – R50 million (between R5 million – R10 million for public relations industry) who are at least 51% black owned can obtain an automatic Level 2 rating, and businesses with 100% black ownership will obtain an automatic Level 1 rating. If it is a Qualifying Small Enterprise, they will still have to be rated as an Empowering Supplier. Should the business be an Exempted Micro Enterprise with 51% or more black ownership they will also receive an automatic Level 2 rating and an automatic Level 1 rating if the business is 100% black owned.

What sets this Sector Code apart?

The major difference which this Sector Code has brought about is that there is an additional sixth element which businesses have to comply with namely Responsible Social Marketing (RSM) and Communications element. It is to ensure that all messages are aimed at promoting social coherence and are in the best interests of society.

Social marketing is the use of any marketing communications platform for the purpose of encouraging society to embrace habits and practices that contribute the collective wellbeing and welfare of people in the country. This can be achieved by any of the following: cultivating new habits and practices; encouraging the adoption of good behavioural patterns; discouraging behavioural patterns that impact negatively on society; and reinforcing good behavioural patterns. The target for this element is 1% of the Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) that must be spent on these initiatives by both Qualifying Small Enterprises and Generic Entities.


Alisha Pala obtained her LLB degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is an admitted attorney. She currently works as a SEESA BEE Legal Advisor.


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