South Africa: Vox mimics Stuff for annual report

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Vox Telecom, listed on the JSE’s AltX exchange, is becoming well known for its inventive annual reports, which each year resemble a popular magazine. The 2010 annual report, released this week, is no exception. The report, called Vox Stuff, has been designed by agency Xfacta to look like an edition of the popular gadgets magazine, Stuff.

Previous annual reports have mimicked magazines such as Time (“Team”), National Geographic (“Vox Geographic”) and Sports Illustrated (“Vox Illustrated”).

The latest annual report, printed on high-quality glossy paper and edited by Vox’s head of marketing, Clayton Timcke, features a full-page spread of the company’s directors hamming it up while playing Guitar Hero.

CEO Tony van Marken is seen deejaying in the picture, with fellow executives Douglas Reed and Jacques du Toit hamming it up on guitar. Tony van Marken, Jacques du Toit and Gary Sweidan ham it up.

There are the usual directors’ reports, but even these are done in a fun way, with a conversation between Van Marken and Reed laid out as if the two men were writing on each other’s walls on Facebook.

However, Vox’s 2010 report has been toned down slightly from the material used in the real Stuff magazine, which is known for its covers featuring scantily clad women. The Vox report has a beautiful model — Jennifer Bettencourt from the Heads modelling agency — on its cover, but she has more clothing on than the models that appear in the real Stuff. That’s perhaps not surprising given that this is, after all, still an annual report of financial results. We don’t want the bean counters to get too hot under the collar, do we?