Clare O'Neil replaces Sarel du Plessis, CEO of the Marketing Association of South Africa and chairperson of The South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF) since May 2007, as the new chair of SAARF. The first women chairperson, she is joined by Virginia Hollis, serving her second year as vice-chair.
O'Neil is the co-owner and director of integrated outdoor solutions company, MMAP and a member of the SABC board. O'Neil, a player in the industry for the past 30 years, spent several years with M-Net where she rose through the ranks to become GM of marketing at Oracle Airtime Sales.
She further entrenched her name in the TV arena when she joined the Midi Consortium and its bid for a free-to-air TV broadcasting licence in 1997. As commercial sales director of e.tv, O'Neil was one of the eight people who set up the country's first private free-to-air channel.
She went on to become MD of media agency, Initiative Media, before joining the SABC as GM: television sales and marketing, in 2001. Upon her departure from the SABC in 2005, O'Neil consulted in the media and broadcasting sector, including at the two satellite TV licensees, Telkom Media and ODM.