Mike Schalit (2005)
Schalit began his career by failing as a rock musician. In 1982 he tried again as apprentice copywriter through the AAPA Training Scheme, interning at Mortimer Tiley and JWT. In 1985, after a stint of backpacking through Europe and more failed music demos, he scraped in as junior writer at a 15-strong Hunt Lascaris, where he did some interesting work for City Lodge, BMW and Nando’s. 8 years later, he co-founded Net#work with Keith Shipley.
Schalit has won the highest accolades for campaigns like Castrol, Virgin Atlantic, Opel, Isuzu, Cell C, Brand SA, Investec, Metro FM ,Chicken Licken and any social issue he can lay his hands on.
He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the industry in 2003 and was voted the most influential person in SA advertising by the Financial Mail in 2004 and 2005. Mike is known for taking nothing seriously, except the work. And he hopes his real contribution will always be beyond the confines of his agency: growing or supporting others and fighting for ideals for the industry as a whole.